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WVCSD Solar Power Project

The district's solar array is located on a field downhill from Sanfordville Elementary.

Warwick Valley Central School District is home to the largest district-owned solar project in New York State. The district’s ground mounted solar generating array is located in an open field south of the Sanfordville Elementary School. Its kilowatt-hours (KWH) are generated through virtual net metering (WVM) to the rest of the district’s buildings. The array generates approximately 2,919,000 KWH of electricity each year, offsetting the district’s entire electricity bill and saving the district approximately $250,000 a year in energy costs.

Helping Warwick become a greener community

The solar project is part of an Energy Performance Contract (EPC), approved and aided by the state. As an EPC, the project is required to pay for itself within 18 years. The power generated by the field feeds into Orange & Rockland’s power grid and comes back to the district in the form of monetary credits. Since going online in February 2018, the array has generated about 4,500,000 kWh of electricity. 

In addition to energy-related factors, the scrupulous research and planning preceding the seven-month construction of the solar project addressed concerns for student safety, local zoning laws and the visual impact. The facility is equipped with fencing and security cameras and is surrounded by 180 evergreens to provide year-round tree cover, as well as a natural visual barrier.

The development of renewable energy sources has been encouraged by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Overall, state-supported solar power in New York has increased nearly 800 percent from December 2011 to today. The solar array is just one of several environmentally-minded initiatives that  have earned the district its Green Ribbon designations by the U.S. Department of Education.