With a $100,000 award from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Town of Plattsburgh is investing in projects aimed to deliver immediate and long-term energy and greenhouse gas emission savings.
The town earned the funding by qualifying as a Clean Energy Community, the first in Clinton County.
As part of that initiative, the town has added to its fleet a 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid.
The town paid $35,000 for the vehicle, known as a PHEV, or battery electric (EV) car, which has a 200-plus mile range and is being used as a staff commute vehicle.
"This will reduce fuel costs and save GHG emissions," Town Supervisor Michael Cashman said in a press release.
"The town will wrap the vehicle with the town logo and NYSERDA Clean Energy Community logo to help promote the mission to the greater public."
This is the first hybrid in a town municipal fleet, he said.
Use of the vehicle, the town supervisor said, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.6 tons/year and cut gasoline use by 546 gallons/year.
Those figures were calculated based on an assumption of a typical electric car replacing a standard gasoline sedan rated at 22 mpg and expected to cover 12,000 miles a year," Planning Technician Malana Tamer said in the release.
The projection is also based on charging the car with 100 percent grid-supplied electricity.
“By operating an electric-drive vehicle instead of a conventional gasoline sedan, the project will save the town approximately $1,000 in fuel costs per year comparing the costs of gasoline to electricity,” Deputy Town Supervisor Meg LeFevre said in the release.
Three additional other projects are also funded by the NYSERDA award.
The town’s capital plan includes roughly $175,000 to upgrade three aging constant-speed pumps and motors at the Bullis Road Water Plant.
Another $25,000 from the award will be used to install three 125 HP 460V variable frequency drives on the new motors.
This will reduce expected energy use by 20 to 30 percent and will deliver significant energy and cost savings benefits, the release said.
Actual savings will vary by annual flow, but will be significant, the release said. This translates into approximately 95 tons/year of greenhouse gas savings.
The project is also projected to save 292,595 KWh, bringing $43,889 in savings for energy costs based on energy prices of 15 cents per KWh.
Payback of the $25,000 is expected in seven months.
"The total town plus CEC investment at the facility is $200,000, creating a payback of 4.6 years," the release said.
Another $15,000 from the award will pay to replace 309 high pressure sodium, fluorescent tube and incandescent lighting fixtures in its parks and outside of the town hall with efficient LED lighting.
The received a quote of $14,773 to purchase 309 fixtures from Hynes Electric Inc.
The NYSERDA funds will only pay for equipment, the release said, and the town will save "significant money" by installing all the fixtures itself.
The town calculated that change will reduce annual energy use by 48,000 KWh/year, translating into $7,200 savings on a $15,000 investment.
That's a payback of two years.
SMART GROWTH PLAN
And the town submitted a separate application to the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program for $95,000 to develop a smart growth plan.
It will dedicate $25,000 of its Clean Energy Community funding toward the plan with a budget of up to $120,000.
The initiative, the release said "will include clean energy advancement considerations, including linking GHG benefits to density and walkability goals, and will support exploration of infrastructure goals needed to support a transition towards electric drive vehicles in the community and enhance active transportation opportunities."
"The town’s use of the NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities award to fund these four energy efficiency and resiliency projects demonstrates our commitment to a clean environment and a strong economy,” said Plattsburgh Senior Planner Trevor Cole in the release.
“Development growth is generally good for the economy, but it must be partnered with environmental sustainability and community health to be Smart Growth."
The town worked with the Adirondack North Country Association to apply for the Clean Energy Community designation.
The designation, Cashman said, "calls attention to our ongoing efforts in integrating renewable-energy use in the Town of Plattsburgh, from our comprehensive land use plan to our water/waste water capital plan."