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District News

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David W. Ziskin

Superintendent of Schools

25 High Street

Fort Plain, NY 13339




Fort Plain Central School District News

Here comes the sun

Fort Plain CSD expected to save more than $850,000 over the next 20 years by harnessing the power of the sun

Superintendent ZiskinFort Plain Central School District Superintendent David Ziskin proudly looked on as Fort Plain Board member Jeff Jones and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara flipped the switch yesterday on a new solar garden constructed off of Route 5, just west of Nelliston. The project will save the district more than $850,000 in power costs over the next 20 years — all while providing educational opportunities to students.

The installment is the first phase of a larger solar project made possible by a partnership with Monolith Solar, an Albany company. The panels, which were built by Monolith at no cost to the district, will generate $20,000 in savings in the first year and cover a substantial portion of the energy bill for the high school. Future panels installed during the second phase will generate energy for the elementary school.

“We have been looking forward to the completion of the project and the realization of the financial and educational benefits to the school district,” said Mr. Ziskin. During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Mr. Ziskin also acknowledged the contributions of retired Superintendent Douglas Burton who was instrumental in the beginning stages of the project more than two years ago, Nellison Mayor Nellison Douglas Bathrick for advocating for the site location, and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara for his support.

Ribbon CuttingAssemblyman Santabarbara said, “As an engineer, I know first-hand how the latest clean-energy technology like this can benefit our communities in so many ways. Not only is the project reducing our carbon footprint, it is saving the Fort Plain School District money that can be invested in our children’s future.”

The district took the first step in the project in 2014, when officials partnered up with Monolith in an agreement known as remote net metering. Monolith will sell power generated by the panels to the school district at a substantial discount.

In addition to the cost savings, there are also educational benefits. Students will be able to tour the site to learn how solar energy works. Software allows the system to be monitored in real time using the Internet. Fort Plain will be able to measure the amount of power produced and the savings for the district, and can calculate the “carbon offset” associated with greenhouse gas production and climate change.

“Being able to leverage every dollar to maximize our programs for students and provide real-life learning opportunities is a win-win situation,” said Mr. Ziskin. “Fort Plain district is excited to be part of implementing renewable energy technology and to be able to bring that experience back to the classroom.”

Though the panels went live during the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, it will take approximately 30 days for the district to start seeing the savings on its electricity bill. The second phase of the project is expected to begin over the summer and be completed by the fall of 2016.