Solid Waste Authority Advances Sustainability Through Renewable Energy

August 3 2018

The Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority (Authority) is proud to announce its first full year of solar array operations. Consistent with the Authority’s mission to manage the region’s solid waste and recyclables in an environmentally sound, cost-effective, efficient and safe manner, the Authority has employed solar energy technology to offset its electricity consumption.

After entering into a solar power agreement with SolarCity Corporation [Tesla], the Authority approved construction of a ground-mounted solar array system of 4,200 panels on roughly 8-acres of Authority property adjacent to the Western Transfer Station in Rome, NY. The system began operating in July 2017.

In the past year, the array has generated approximately 1.1 megawatts of renewable energy. This is enough power to offset the Authority’s combined electricity needs at both its Rome and Utica facilities, including the Authority’s single stream Recycling Center. Over the lifetime of this project, the Authority is expected to reduce its carbon footprint by 34 million pounds – an equivalent offset by 400,000 trees.

Solar Graphic

The Authority has also generated renewable energy at its Landfill Gas to Electricity (LFGTE) facility in Ava, NY, since 2012 and produced 27,000 megawatt hours of electricity in 2017. With the LFGTE facility and solar array system combined, the Authority generates enough renewable energy to power over 3,400 homes annually.

This solar power agreement is expected to save the Authority more than $80,000 per year. These savings allow the Authority to maintain system tipping fees in for residents and businesses, even in the face of fluctuating recycling markets.

“Initiating programs to make Authority operations more sustainable is something the Authority strives to do. We are excited about the solar energy captured so far, and we will continue to invest in ideas and technologies to ‘green’ our community,” says Jamie Tuttle, Recycling Educator at the Authority.

For more information on Authority programs and for any questions, please visit www.ohswa.org or call (315) 733-1224. You may also visit the Authority’s Facebook page – Oneida Herkimer Solid Waste Authority – to stay up to date on current initiatives.