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Heritage Christian Services goes greener with solar array

Heritage Christian Services is the latest entity to build solar power capacity to change its energy footprint.

The nonprofit agency that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities has added a 2.7-megawatt solar array in the western Monroe county town of Parma. The array began producing power in December.

Developed and installed by GreenSpark Solar of Ontario, Wayne County, the array provides enough power for 300 local homes and approximately 60 percent of the agency’s electrical needs.

“Our workforce not only does a tremendous job supporting people, but they also care about our environment,” said Drew Bielemeier, senior vice president of operations at Heritage. “The solar idea came from our staff and we are excited to partner with GreenSpark to achieve a more responsible carbon footprint while reducing our costs.”

GreenSpark applied for and received a grant from the state on behalf of the project, which is owned by a third party, Kendall Sustainable Infrastructure, which sells the power to Heritage. The agency is expected to save approximately $2 million in energy costs over the 25-year lifetime of the array.

Bielemeier said the agency will continue working with GreenSpark Solar this year to further address Heritage’s electric needs in the Rochester and Buffalo areas.

Kevin Schulte, CEO of GreenSpark Solar, said, “If more organizations took advantage of the financial benefits of solar energy, the entire economy of the Greater Rochester area would improve.”

[email protected]/(585) 363-7275

SunCommon NY becomes GreenSpark Solar

SunCommon NY, the local company that has been growing in leaps and bounds by distributing solar power to homes and businesses, has changed its name to GreenSpark Solar.

SunCommon was named No. 1 on the Rochester Chamber Top 100 list for 2017, having grown more than 600 percent over three years.

The company began as Sustainable Energy Developments Inc. in 2002 with a focus on wind energy, but soon grew to include commercial solar power and then residential solar power before partnering with Vermont-based SunCommon in 2016.

An announcement about the change said GreenSpark will  be an independent company and continue to work on solar energy in the Rochester area but also expand its selection of renewable energy. The founders of SED, Kevin Schulte, George McConochie, and Ernie Pritchard, will remain with GreenSpark as CEO, chief operations officer and director of customer service, respectively.

“We believe climate change is a global issue and GreenSpark Solar has a local solution that Rochester has embraced,” Schulte said.

GreenSpark will hold a launch party for its rebranding at the RocWorthy Earth Fest April 18 in the South Wedge near Abundance Food Coop on South Avenue.

[email protected]/(585) 363-7275