Floating solar project proposed for Cohoes

Local

COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) — You’ve seen solar panels on roofs and even in fields, but solar panels floating in water could soon be a reality at the Cohoes reservoir.

“The idea is to cover 2/3rds of the reservoir with 8,000 solar panels,” explained Cohoes Mayor, Bill Keeler.

According to Keeler, this proposed floating solar project could be a big saving for tax payers— seeing as how the 3.2 mega wats of power generated could pay for the electricity of municipal buildings throughout the city.

When it comes to installation, the array of solar panels would be anchored on the shores of the reservoir.

“It’s hurricane resistant,” explained Joe Seman-Graves, Cohoes City Planner. “It’s going to live up to that degree of wind, and it’s going to be something safe to walk on too.”

The proposed $6 million dollar project would be owned by the city. An application is being submitted to the US House Committee on Appropriations for roughly $5 million dollars in federal funding. The remaining $1.2 million would be raised though grants and state aid.

“This is exemplary! In fact, the national renewable energy laboratory has indicated that if arrays on all of the nations 24,000 man made reservoirs, we could meet 10 percent of the energy need of the country,” said Congressman Paul Tonko.

If implemented, this could become an educational tourism destination.

“We are going to have areas for kids, professors, researchers, to come and not only view it, but actually pull data from this and see how it’s working, and how it’s actually promoting the city’s goals of clean energy,” stated Seman-Graves.

The City of Cohoes will likely be notified in June as to whether or not federal money will be granted. If approved, the project could start as soon as next year.

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