By Judy Garrison
Alan White, executive director of The Catskill Center for Conservation & Development (CCCD), gave an informative Andes Roundtable presentation on Wednesday, October 17th. Alan and his wife Robin White, who teaches 5th/6th grade at ACS, live on a small farm in the Town of Halcott. The main focus of his talk, accompanied by a visual presentation, was the Sustainable Catskills/Solar Array Program, which has been in place at the Center since 2010. The program tests various technologies, emphasizing their array of photovoltaic solar panels, and is providing a resource for individuals looking to employ solar and other alternative energy modalities (such as geo-thermal).
Mr. White says that the panels, which produce 30% of capacity, even on a cloudy day, will be cheaper over time. With NYS (NYSERDA) and federal rebates, you can build a solar system for at a quarter of its total cost, with an estimated 11.5 year payback (for those selling surplus into the grid.)
Readers can check production and carbon offset statistics on the CCCD website: www.catskillcenter.org.
Mr. White also spoke about the Zero Waste Initiative currently in operation at the Erpf Center, and described the energy-saving virtues of grass pellet stoves, dual-flush toilets, radiant heating, hand-dryers that operate with air velocity rather than heat, programmable thermostats, LED lighting, and plug-in centers for the 100 MGE Ford Fusion hybrid.
As is typical at Roundtable events there were many questions, comments and personal accounts given by those present. ~