First Solar-Powered Station Opens in Western New York
LOCKPORT, N.Y. -- Crosby's, a Western New York-based convenience and fuel retailer, is harnessing the power of the sun with the debut of the region's first solar-powered c-store and gas station.
The chain's Lockport, N.Y., store now has a 198-panel solar panel that is expected to yield approximately 55,500 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, offsetting about 20 percent of the property's total energy usage. The electricity generation is comparable to the annual energy-usage rate of roughly six homes, according to the company.
“It’s a 52-kilowatt green, mean electric machine. This is the wave of the future,” Town Supervisor Marc R. Smith told The Buffalo News.
Crosby's, a subsidiary of Lockport-based Reid Petroleum, operates 48 c-stores in Western New York and Pennsylvania. The chain plans to add another solar-powered store in Cheektowaga, N.Y., by the end of this year.
The Reid Group President Paul Quebral worked with Buffalo, N.Y.-based Montante Solar to complete the project. Excess power generated at the store during warmer months will be sold to New York State Electric & Gas Corp.
“Throughout our history Crosby’s and Reid Petroleum have focused on doing things differently and adopting innovative approaches to everyday operations as a way to really distinguish our brand from the competition,” Reid Group CEO Paul Reid stated in a release. “This new solar array installation will allow us to save money and reduce energy consumption at our Lake Avenue location, while at the same time producing green, renewable power that reduces stress on the regional electric grid.”
According to The Buffalo News report, approximately 35 percent of the project cost, which was not disclosed, was funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority under its NY-Sun program. The program averages $4.8 million in assistance each month to solar power projects. Aid for any particular project is capped at 40 percent of the project cost and 200 kilowatts for a commercial venture.
Launched in 2012 and promoted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, NY-Sun is expected to make $800 million in solar power investments statewide through 2015.
“New York State’s economic future will be driven by responsible and innovative hometown businesses that are proactive in finding ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency, while at the same time offering great products and services to their customers,” said New York State Senator and Senate Energy Committee Chairman George Maziarz. “I’m pleased to have one of those businesses right here in Niagara County and applaud Crosby’s, Reid Petroleum and Montante Solar on this excellent renewable energy project.”