On an April afternoon, 50 business leaders, farmers, and local and state officials gather in a small barn at 5 Spoke Creamery in Goshen. Outside, 270 feet of solar panels glint blue in the afternoon sun.
“I hope this is a model for the rest of the Hudson Valley and New York State,” State Assembly Member James Skoufis says. New York State’s first commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing helped fund those winking blue plates in the field by the creamery.
PACE financing is organized by Energize NY Finance, the state’s new funding program for renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies on existing commercial buildings. The financing is based on the project’s potential energy savings. The loans are repaid through annual tax charges on the property, not unlike other utilities like electricity or water. If the property is sold, the loan automatically transfers to the new owners.
At the beginning of the presentation, an introductory video is projected on a drop-down screen. A friendly faced Alan Glustoff, the owner of 5 Spoke Creamery, a dairy farm that specializes in cave-aged cheeses, is shown explaining the benefits of the solar-enabling loan while tending to his cows. He says that the solar array provides “more than enough power to meet 100 percent of needs and then some,” while decreasing his creamery’s environmental impact. Read more.