Posted on 12/07/2017



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The Camden Central School District, Camden, New York, Board of Education and the District Administration continues to be aggressive in their approach to maximize educational opportunities that yield tangible results for our students while operating in an environment with limited resources and elevated sensitivity to our District’s taxpayers.  To that end, the parties over the recent years have looked for and pursued cost saving opportunities that have availed themselves and that are practical in application to the District’s conditions and needs.

In May 2014, Karl Keil, Assistant Superintendent for Business, was made aware of a time sensitive NYSERDA Solar Grant supported by Governor Cuomo’s office that was geared toward applications for schools and municipalities.  In the possible pursuit of a solar grant the District Administration in concert with the Board of Education expediently convened the District’s Facility Committee, and gathered vital information from a selection of solar consultants.  All energy professional advice indicated that the NYSERDA  Solar  Grant was a viable, reasonable Grant for the District to purse and that if received would have long-term benefits to the school community in addition to supporting a variety of State and Federal initiatives:

Camden School Community


  • Exhibit to visitors a progressive community in support of infrastructure investments;
  • Yield classroom education opportunities – website, fieldtrips;
  • Provide 20+ years of savings to District taxpayers cumulatively equal to $2,000,000;
  • Encourage interest in renewable energy;
  • Promote shared services with Village of Camden Water & Sewer Departments;
  • Provide stabile electrical budget projections for District;
  • Allow for reallocation of limit funds for student learning versus utility bill costs.

New York State


September 2014 Press announcement: New York is becoming a national leader in the solar industry, and today were taking another major step forward by giving schools across the state the resources they need to tap into this innovative technology, Governor Cuomo said.  Increasing the use of renewable energy at our schools will both protect the environment and modernize our electrical grid.  I encourage all school districts to apply for this assistance today.

This means protecting the environment, decreasing energy costs, and creating opportunities for economic growth for current and future generations of New Yorkers.  In advancing these new energy infrastructures and solutions, New Yorkers will have improved energy affordability and efficiency without sacrificing the ability to live in a cleaner, resilient, and more sustainable environment.

Jackson Morris, Director of Eastern Energy at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said, Solar power can help New York schools save big on their energy bills, freeing up more money to be invested in education, instead of energy, while helping to reduce demand for dirty energy sources that pollute the air our children breathe.  On top of the financial benefits, going solar provides an incredible resource to teach kids hands-on lessons about climate science, technology, engineering, math, and what exactly happens when you flip on that light switch.  Empower our communities and children with solar today, and who knows where they’ll take us tomorrow.

 United States


  • The sun’s rays are always free and clean;
  • Completely sustainable and renewable, we have 4,500 million years in reserve;
  • No byproducts of solar energy, no pollution;
  • Reduce carbon dioxide emissions produced by burning fossil fuels;
  • On average 80% of a solar project cost stays in America;
  • Reduce dependence on foreign oil;
  • Reduces the electricity demand on the electrical grid during peak times.


 Global Environmental Benefits

 By installing a solar electricity system, Camden Central School District will be doing its part to reduce global warming, air pollution, natural disasters, and ultimately preserve our planet.

 The 2,400.000 kW photovoltaic system is estimated to generate 2,913,118 kWh of clean energy each year.

 This clean energy will avoid 2,057 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from entering into the environment.


2,913,118 kWh of clean energy is equivalent to any of the following:

 Annual greenhouse gas emissions from 428 cars;

 CO2 emissions from 230,422 gallons of gasoline consumed;

 CO2 emissions 4,780 barrels of oil consumed;

 CO2 emissions from 27 tanker trucks' worth of gasoline;

 CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 309 homes in one year;

 CO2 emissions from all the energy use of 106 homes for one year;

Carbon sequestered annually by 52,701 tree seedlings grown for 10 years;

Carbon sequestered annually by 1,684 acres of U.S. forests;

Carbon sequestered by 16 acres of U.S. forest preserved from conversion to cropland;

CO2 emissions from 85,640 propane cylinders used for home barbeques;

CO2 emissions from burning 9 railcars' worth of coal;

Greenhouse gas emission avoided by recycling 769 tons of waste.

Grant Application Approved

The District Board of Education moved forward with the grant application process and subsequently was awarded a $974,615 flow through allocation from NYSERDA and the Governor’s office on September 19, 2014.  Prudent quick actions taken by the Camden Central School District yielded a successful grant approval embedded in remote metering and monetary credits.


 142 Solar Projects at Businesses and Schools Will Increase New York’s Solar Capacity by 68 Percent


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced NY-Sun awards for large solar electric projects that will increase the solar capacity in New York State by more than 214 megawatts, a 68 percent increase over the amount of solar installed and in the pipeline at the end of 2013.  The competitive awards further advance the scale-up of solar and move the State closer to a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry.

“Today we are making another long-term investment in our clean energy economy – with nearly $100 million in funding that will dramatically increase our capacity to generate and utilize solar energy across the state,” Governor Cuomo said.  “New York is quickly becoming a national leader in renewable energy by building a competitive solar industry, and today’s award recipients are an example of how that progress continues to grow.  As we recognize Climate Week, this is a significant step forward in our goal of creating a better place for New Yorkers to live and work, and I look forward to seeing these projects contribute to a cleaner environment.”

The new capacity, which is planned for 142 project sites, was obtained through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Competitive PV program, which has been working to stimulate the market for systems larger than 200 kilowatts for four years.  A total of $94 million in renewable funding for these projects leverages private investment of $375 million in new PV power infrastructure projects.

A total of 50 project sites are located at businesses; 41 at schools and school districts; 36 at municipal and other government facilities; and 15 at nonprofits, health care institutions, and colleges.

  Unique opportunity – worth the wait


The combination of the flow through grant and the remote metering with monetary credits was the unique combination that is no longer available to districts, to be the most advantageous for dollars savings to the Camden District.

Through patience and a persevering approach all stakeholders involved in the 12 acre, 2.4 mw solar array work together to clear past the obstacles and challenges of such a large project.  November 17, 2017, was the culmination of that work as the solar array distributed its first watts to the National Grid system. 

Bravo to all the projects participants, a job well done, allot of winners at the end of the day.  Thank you for all of those that had a part to bringing this resource to the Camden Central School District and its school community.

The Ribbon Cutting ceremony scheduled for Tuesday morning has been postponed.