East Side Buffalo solar project reaches milestone

Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Panel Project Reaches Milestone

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A renewable-energy project in Buffalo's Fruit Belt is a step closer to a bright future, which involves serving as an example for other communities. 

On Tuesday, National Grid announced its Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Demonstration Project has reached a major milestone: full customer commitment to help it reach its generating capacity of 500-kilowatts. 

The announcement was made at the First Centennial Baptist Church, in the Fruit Belt. 

There are currently 10 project participants in the solar energy program.

Residents taking part will test the efficiency of rooftop solar in a single neighborhood, while taking advantage of savings on their energy bills. National Grid says for the customers participating, the monthly credit to their electric bill is about $15.  

Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid New York State Vice President, said Tuesday the project is a true industry and community partnership . 

"This is the model," she said. "All eyes are on Buffalo. Our initial goal was to bring the benefits of renewable generation to a non-traditional market, with the added benefit of being able to examine the impact of concentration of rooftop solar on our delivery system." 

National Grid says the project includes the installation of solar panels on more than 100 rooftops to reach the 500-kilowatts capacity.

There are 44 systems installed so far, including 15 connected to the grid. The installation of the full 500-kilowatts is expected to be done by November. 

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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