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Solar projects green up Westchester

i.Park Hudson and Grand Prix New York are now running on solar power, which both expect will save energy costs and help the environment.

Westchester buildings are continuing to go green.

Half Moon Ventures L.L.C., a Chicago-based developer of solar and wind energy projects, last week unveiled its first solar electric power generation system at i.Park Hudson, a 24-acre office and industrial complex on Larkin Plaza in Yonkers owned by National Resources.

The multimillion-dollar installation is one of the largest in the state of New York.

“We are thrilled to bring this cutting-edge solar energy system to i.Park Hudson in Yonkers at no cost to the state, county or city,” said Michael Hastings, CEO of Half Moon Ventures, in a statement. “The environmental benefits are tremendous. This is a win-win on a very large scale and we hope that this project provides a template and role model for future commercial energy projects here in New York and beyond.”

Half Moon Ventures said that solar installation projects reduce energy costs, lock in electric rates for the long-term, increase property values and create jobs. Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said he was proud his city would be home to the largest commercial rooftop solar power system.

“Private sector investments such as this play an important role in helping to blaze the trail toward a greener, stronger New York,” Spano said in a statement.

When complete, the solar system will generate more than 1.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year – enough to power over 120 homes for a year – while removing the equivalent of the annual harmful greenhouse emissions of more than 160 cars from the environment.

Because of the climate and meteorological considerations, the panels, which have a life expectancy of 20 years, will generate the most energy in the summer, when energy is most expensive, and least in the winter, when electricity is at its cheapest.

“As a developer and owner with a fervent interest in sustainability and preserving resources, we thought this arrangement with Half Moon made great sense for the National Resources business model,” said Joseph Cotter, president of National Resources, in a statement. “Anything that helps us operate as a responsible member of the community, take good care of our tenants, and improve our asset is a welcome development.”

Grand Prix New York Racing L.L.C. on Bedford Road in Mount Kisco is another complex that now has solar panels and LED lights.

Diamond Properties L.L.C., which owns the property, installed 216 solar panels on the roof. The solar panel system will generate 58,360 kilowatt hours annually and shave around $10,000 from the company’s electric bill over the next year. Excess electricity generated by Grand Prix New York’s solar farm will be redistributed to the Con Edison grid.

The project cost $217,808, and received an $86,940 rebate from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The project is also eligible for a 30 percent federal investment tax credit.

The LED lighting, manufactured and installed by Mount Kisco-based Xeleum Lighting L.L.C., has the potential to produce an annual energy cost savings of 60 percent to 80 percent from the reduced cost of electric energy and, due to cooler operating temperatures, a reduction in air conditioning usage.

“This is a win-win situation for everyone,” said Nat Mundy, vice president and co-founder of Grand Prix New York in a statement. “We’re obviously happy to cut down our electricity costs, but this is also about being good corporate citizens. If more businesses looked at solar power, it would help reduce pollution and decrease dependence on oil.”

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