A local town is taking advantage of all the sun we've had lately. They're using it to power a sewer pump.
It's not the biggest solar project around, but one small solar panel could mean big things for the town of Penfield.
"In Penfield, one of the things we wanted to do was lead by example. If we are going to encourage people to do things smarter then they have in the past, then we have to lead by example," says Town Supervisor Tony LaFountain.
Right now the town is using solar energy to power a sewage pump. It's still connected to the grid. When it's sunny, it produces enough extra energy to sell it back to RG&E. When it's cloudy, RG&E supplies the energy. It's a net zero project.
"It's a small installation. It's designed to produce about 400 kilowatt hours per year. When I looked at meter it was at 171 since December," says Bob Kanauer, of LTHS Solar.
The solar panel powers a small pump that services one small neighborhood. But the hope is eventually they will be able to expand this to more parts of the town.
"Where does it go from here? I'm going to be very open minded. I think there's a lot more applications for solar in the future," says LaFountain.
This project was paid for in large part by grants from NYSERDA. Bob Kanauer also donated some of the equipment. It's expected to save the town about 300 dollars annually.
"These panels in this operation application can be here for 25 plus years to the return in very quick and payoff continues to be beneficial for the town," says LaFountain.
"It's more of a visibility to get an awareness out there, and educate folks on what solar can do. Solar can be successful in Rochester so it's a good demonstration of that happening," adds Kanauer.