Join a community solar farm today. We need to reduce carbon emissions, and we need to do it fast

To the Editor:

Last week’s report  from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a startling reminder following similar reports we’ve seen from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and others: We need to reduce carbon emissions, and we need to do it fast.

There is an easy, cost-saving step National Grid electricity customers can take to help. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has a program called community solar. It lets households that don’t, can’t, or don’t want to have solar panels join local solar farms. The clean electricity produced by the solar farms shows up as credits on the households’ National Grid bills.

The not-for-profit volunteer group Solarize Albany has evaluated currently available community solar options and recommends two nearby solar farms, in Oppenheim and Johnstown. They are already constructed, so there’s no long wait to switch to solar power.

There’s no cost to sign up, and if you later want to cancel for any reason, there’s no penalty with 90 days’ notice. And instead of paying extra to buy green energy, the electricity from these solar farms is guaranteed to always cost 10-percent less than electricity from National Grid. You’ll continue to pay National Grid’s delivery service charges.

Climate change requires urgent response, and each of us needs to do what we can to help. If you don’t already have solar panels, you can reduce your carbon emissions and save money by taking advantage of this program. Visit to join a community solar farm.

Amy Lauterbach Pokorny


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