Friday
April 23, 2010

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Solar array powers tennis company


Fondillar stands by his solar farm

SAUGERTIES – Ed Fondiller celebrated Earth Day in a really big way Thursday. Fondiller, owner and director of Total Tennis, a resort near the Greene County line, unveiled new solar field shortly before noon.

“There are 486 individual panels, and this is supplying more than 30 percent of our electrical needs for our year-round tennis camp,” he said.

The resort’s annual electric bill is more than $64,000, and the solar field will pay for about $18,000 of those yearly costs.

Fondiller started looking for financing in 2008, and state and federal grants are paying for the majority of the project, which will allow him to sell power back to the grid.  Without the aid, it will be difficult for companies to go solar, he said.

“Very few businesses, unless there is lots of money behind them, are going to find solar too expensive. State and federal money is imperative,” he said. “The other thing that’s happening in solar that is very exciting is that the cost of panels is dropping.”

In a total of an $800,000 project for Fondiller, three-quarters comes from state and federal money,” he said.

The majority of the funding for the project, one of the largest such installations in Ulster County, is coming from NYSERDA and from a federal stimulus bill to encourage spending on renewable energy.

While Fondiller’s project could provide a glimpse how other businesses could benefit from the green technology, he cautions those interested that it can be an expensive, complicated endeavor.

“Very few businesses, unless there’s lots of money behind them, are going to find solar too expensive. State and federal money is imperative,” he said.

 


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