Fair pro­motes re­new­able en­ergy

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Front Page - By Charles Pritchard cpritchard@onei­dadis­patch.com

CAZEN­OVIA, N.Y. » The Cazen­ovia “Seize the Power” En­ergy Fair brought new light to peo­ple in­ter­ested in ev­ery­thing from so­lar pan­els to elec­tric cars and ev­ery­thing in-be­tween.

“It’s been seven to eight months of real great ef­fort to pull this to­gether,” res­i­dent artist and com­mit­tee mem­ber Ge­of­frey Navias said.

Navias said seven dif­fer­ent com­mit­tees formed to host the en­ergy fair, fo­cus­ing on ev­ery­thing from reach­ing out to ven­dors and spon­sors, to keep­ing ev­ery­one co­or­di­nated.

“Com­bus­tion en­gines have been around for only 200 years, but look­ing at the fu­ture of our world, we’ve be­come too fo­cused,” Navias said. “We’ve had huge ben­e­fits from com­bus­tion en­gines, butwhen a cul­ture be­comes too fo­cused on one prod­uct it can back­fire, and that’s what’s hap­pen­ing.”

When it comes to re­new­able en­ergy, there are sev­eral dif­fer­ent op­tions to look at, and the Seize the Power En­ergy Fair gave peo­ple a hands on demon­stra­tion, pre­sen­ta­tions and more. Ele­men­tary stu­dents also got a chance to par­tic­i­pate by join­ing the sci­ence fair.

Matthew Awald, 9, sub­mit­ted his ex­per­i­ment cen­tered around hy­dro­elec­tric­ity and fea­tured a small work­ing hy­dro­elec­tric gen­er­a­tor. Matthew put forth the hy­poth­e­sis that the higher the dam was built, the more en­ergy that was put out. At 15, 20 and 25 inches, Matthew saw power in­creas­ing with each higher in­cre­ment.

“The best way to pro­duce power is re­new­able en­ergy, not like oil and other stuff be­cause all the oils have gases that get in the air,” he said

One form of re­new­able en­ergy be­com­ing more and more pop­u­lar is so­lar en­ergy.

Sa­muel Dou­ble­day, project co­or­di­na­tor at blue Rock So­lar, told peo­ple the ben­e­fits of en­ter­ing into the world of com­mu­nity so­lar.

Dou­ble­day said his com­pany mainly works on a sub­scriber model. With this, cus­tomers make pe­ri­odic pay­ments at an agreed fixed rate, lower than the util­ity rate, for a share in the so­lar project. In re­turn, the cus­tomer re­ceives en­ergy cred­its from the pan­els that can be used on their bills.

For those want­ing to get into so­lar power, com­mu­nity so­lar projects can be help­ful for those with­out a north fac­ing roof, a house com­pletely shaded by trees, those that don’t own land or don’t have enough land.

And the ben­e­fits of so- lar don’t just ex­tend to the elec­tric bill. Whether the en­ergy fair com­mit­tee ap­proached them or the res­i­dents reached out, those driv­ing elec­tric cars talked about the ben­e­fits.

Cazen­ovia res­i­dent Greg Tyler found out about the event .and asked if he could bring his car.

“It’s 100 per­cent elec­tric Nis­san Leaf and this car is first gen­er­a­tion and older tech­nol­ogy, but has a 73mile range,” Tyler said. “The cur­rent Nis­san Leaf has a 151 mile range. Cur­rent elec­tric ve­hi­cles will more than sat­isfy peo­ple’s ev­ery day driv­ing need. There’s al­most no main­te­nance and fuel cost of elec­tric­ity is min­i­mal.”

Benjamin Swiernik and Benjamin Brown of the Mor­risville Re­new­able En­ergy Ma­jor talked about so­lar, wind and hy­dro. They set up a small so­lar ar­ray and went over how much en­ergy it can pro­duce.

“We deal with so­lar, wind, mi­cro-hy­dro and biomass as well as a few other things,” Swiernik said. “The av­er­age house uses about 6,000 to 8,000 kil­lowats a year. This small ar­ray here would pro- duce around 1,000 a year.”

Swiernik said the ar­ray they brought in could go for around $3,000 and to com­pletely cover an en­ergy bill, it could cost around $15,000 to $20,000.

“And that’s be­fore in­cen­tives. You can get tax cred­its from both fed­eral and the state,” Brown said. “And there are cer­tain in­cen­tives in your util­ity bill you can ap­ply for.”

Navias said the United States is a po­lit­i­cally frac­tured state and find­ing ways to talk to each other is as im­por­tant as find­ing com­mon ground.

“Sav­ing money on en­ergy and pre­par­ing so we can move into the fu­ture so we can be a leader in that sounds like it could be com­mon ground,” Navias said.

CHARLES PRITCHARD — ONEIDA DAILY DIS­PATCH

Bre­anna Kern, right, Lisa Lin­den­feld and Jamie Leone look over and judge Matthew Awald’s project at the Cazen­ovica Seize the Power En­ergy Fair on Satur­day, April 14, 2018.

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