Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 766

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 776

Displaying items by tag: garden

Thursday, 30 September 2021 13:17

Mums & Asters

Summer was a soggy mess but autumn weather has been making up for it so far.

It is fall flowering mum season and they are on full display in yards all across the region.

Mums have been cultivated for their beauty for over 3,000 years. Thousands of years of breeding give us mums of nearly every size and color.

History traces the origin of chrysanthemum culture to Imperial China over 3,000 years ago. Chrysanthemums were highly prized by the emperors of China who considered them to be more valuable than gold. The Japanese also revere the chrysanthemum. In fact, the origin of Japanese culture is wrapped in chrysanthemum legend. It seems that one of the early emperors of China became quite ill. In his quest for a remedy he learned of the “herb of youth” that would restore his health. The search for the “herb of youth” was entrusted to twelve male and twelve female virgins. They sailed out onto the Pacific Ocean with a bamboo basket filled with the Emperor’s beloved “golden daisies” to trade for the “herb of youth.”. They didn’t make it far before the quest was ended by a typhoon that left them shipwrecked on a rocky archipelago. With their journey at an end, the survivors planted the revered mums and set about exploring their new home. 

Over the years, the survivor’s descendants populated the islands we now know as Japan. Their reverence for chrysanthemums continued, and they were eventually considered the exclusive property of their Emperor. In 910 AD, the Japanese Emperor displayed his prized plants at the first Imperial Chrysanthemum Show and declared them to be the national flower of Japan. In 1876, another Japanese emperor created the Order of the Chrysanthemum as the highest honor he could bestow on an individual. The Japanese word “kiku” represents both the chrysanthemum and the office of the Emperor. The royal crest is a traditional sixteen-petal chrysanthemum design. European interest in Chrysanthemums budded with the arrival of plants brought back from the orient by Dutch traders in the early eighteenth century. The Dutch are known to have produced several new varieties from the original plants. Chrysanthemums came to North America in 1798 in the hands of John Stevens, a nurseryman from Hoboken. By 1850, the Chrysanthemum Society of America had been founded, and they held their first show in 1902.

The first step to success with hardy mums is to make sure that you’re buying winter hardy mums. Unless they are labeled as winter hardy mums, you should assume they are not. 

Many folks display their potted mums, waiting until right before frost to plant them. This really doesn’t give the plant much of a chance to get some roots down into their new home. It is best to plant them as soon as you can. 

After the flowers are finished, snip them off but leave the leaves. They’ll provide food to help the roots grow until frost claims them. There’s no need to cut your mums back until spring when new growth appears. In very windy locations, you might cover them with evergreen boughs after several hard freezes. This will protect them in case we have a snowless winter. Snow is the best winter protection for mums and all of our perennial garden plants.

Lately, North Americans asters have become a popular contender for champion of fall color in the flowerbed. Compared to mums, asters are a relatively recent upstart. English gardeners, visiting their colonial cousins found asters to be quite lovely and brought seeds back to the British Isles with them. So even though asters are a native North American plant, they became a popular fall-blooming plant in the gardens of England long before Americans learned to appreciate them. It’s a classic case of one man’s trash becoming another’s treasure. Whichever you choose you’ll enjoy great fall color for many years to come. Heck, why choose! Grow them both. 

Thanks for the read!

Published in Home & Garden
Thursday, 05 August 2021 16:29

Ugh - Slugs!

Summer of 2021 will not be remembered fondly by farmers and gardeners. 

July was one of the top 5 wettest on record. It hasn’t been very sunny or warm either. This has slowed the ripening of tomatoes and other vegetable crops. Even the annual flowers have been slow to put on their show this year.

There are a couple of critters that love “the wet” though: slugs and garden snails. They both like to munch on many of our favorite ornamental and vegetable plants. In the past, slugs and snails have been difficult garden pests to control. 

In the past, there was only one bait made and the active ingredient was metaldehyde. Metaldehyde was nasty stuff and was for use around ornamental crops but never vegetables, fruits or berries. It is also toxic to animals so I would never even consider using it. Metaldehyde has now been removed from the market...thank goodness!

There were also a variety of “old school” slug and snail control techniques. One option was plucking and drowning the slugs in soapy water. You’d need to wear gloves since slug slime isn’t something that you can wash off easily. 

There was also the dish sunk into the ground and filled with beer. The idea was that the slugs and snails are attracted to the beer (true) and would drop into it and drown. This method never worked well for me. I’d catch a few but it seemed like a terrible waste of beer. 

Another method was placing grapefruit rinds upside down in the infested area. The slugs and snails are attracted to the grapefruit rind and you’d find them under there in the morning and then drown them. It worked but you’d need dozens of grapefruit rinds if you wanted to catch enough slugs to make a difference. 

I never had much success with any of these methods in a year like the one we’re having this year. The demand for something safe and effective safe slug control finally led to a natural mineral-based slug control that is not only very effective but is totally safe to use in the berry patch and vegetable garden. It is iron phosphate. 

I’m most familiar with the iron phosphate slug and snail bait called “Slug Magic” but there are others available. Just make sure that the active ingredient is iron phosphate.

This stuff works great and is harmless to dogs, cats and all the wildlife except slugs and garden snails. You just sprinkle it around (according to the instructions on the package of course) and the slugs actually prefer it to the plants. It works fast too. Sprinkle it on in the evening (slugs feed at night) and by the next night you won’t see slugs around. Once they nibble a little Slug Magic, they stop feeding and crawl away to die. It really is almost like magic!

Thanks for the read!

Published in Home & Garden
Thursday, 15 July 2021 14:30

Grub Control

There's so much confusion about grub control

that garden centers will sell a lot more grub control in the spring than in summer when, logically, it should be the other way around. I’m sure much of this has to do with the fact that the damage grubs do in late summer and fall isn’t visible until the following spring.

The first step is to understand the life cycle of the Japanese Beetle. Let’s start at the beginning. After feasting on your beans and rose bushes, the female Japanese Beetle lays her eggs in the warm sunny areas of your lawn starting in mid-August. The healthiest grass is growing in the sunny areas of your beautiful lawn that you’ve worked on all spring. Each female is capable of laying a couple of hundred eggs. These eggs will all hatch within four days after they’re laid. There are no grubs hatching in the spring. None. They ALL hatch from mid-August through September.

After the tiny grubs hatch in mid-August and September, they start eating. What they eat are the roots of your lawn. As the soil temperature drops in the fall, the grubs burrow down below the frost line to avoid being frozen over winter. 

In spring, the soil temperature begins to rise and the grubs burrow their way back to the root zone of your lawn. Now the feast begins all over again. After putting on another round of body fat, they pause and pupate; that is, they form a hard shell and begin the transformation into the adult or beetle stage of their life. They enter this pupae stage during early to mid-June. In mid-July, the beetles emerge from the soil and the cycle begins again.

The best time to wipe them out is during the hatching period in late August or early September. Remember this: “Apply in July when the beetles fly” Let’s start with Bonide Annual Grub Beater: Ideally, you’ll want to apply Bonide Annual Grub Beater in July and WATER IT IN. By now you must think I’m totally nuts. I just explained how there aren’t any grubs in July because they are all in the beetle form. The reason Annual Grub Beater needs to be applied so early is that it needs a month of lead time to get absorbed into the roots of the grass where it remains waiting for the grubs. As soon as the grubs hatch, they begin to eat the roots of the grass. POW! They die. Properly applied and watered-in, Bonide Annual Grub Beater will kill 98% of the grubs that hatch. No need to lose your lawn…no need to treat again in spring either. 

The there’s Milky Spore, a non-chemical grub control. Milky Spore is a disease that only affects Japanese Beetle grubs. It won’t hurt earthworms or even a bird that eats a grub that has the disease. Milky Spore needs to be applied two times a year for three years to reach “epidemic” proportions in the soil. Milky Spore is best applied in spring and late summer/early fall and must get watered in heavily right after application, just like the other grub controls. After that, grubs hatch into your lawn, contract the disease then die, reproducing the disease and spreading it throughout the soil. Milky Spore is more expensive up front but will last at least 20 years once it takes hold. 

Water your grubs!! It is imperative that all grub control products get watered-in thoroughly IMMEDIATELY after application. DON’T COUNT ON RAIN TO DO THE JOB. Rainfall is never hard enough to get the chemical off the surface of the soil quickly enough and down to the roots where the grubs are. All grub controls (including Milky Spore) begin to break down as soon as they are out of the bag. As soon as you put your spreader away, get the sprinkler out and soak the area with an inch of water. Use an empty tuna fish or cat food can to measure the inch of water. When your sprinkler has filled the can, you’ve applied the correct amount of water. 

Thanks for the read!

Published in Home & Garden
Thursday, 03 June 2021 13:47

Summer Planting? Yes You Can!

I answer a LOT of gardening questions and it is interesting to see the questions change as the season progresses. 

There’s one misconception that crops up every year as summer begins about the difference between “planting” and “transplanting”...and there is a HUGE difference.   

Here’s a typical situation: A customer is looking at the selection of flowering shrubs that are on sale and seems like they want to purchase some but then they’ll say, “I should probably wait though.”  Then I’ll ask, “Why?” “I’ve heard that you shouldn’t transplant shrubs during summer.”

Over the years, I’ve heard this many times and, quite literally speaking, the statement is true but...there’s a major difference between “planting” and “transplanting.” When you’re digging up and moving an already established tree or shrub, that’s called transplanting.  If you attempt this during the long hot days of summer when the plant is in the full flush of growth, you run a very real risk of sending the plant into fatal shock.  Transplanting is best done while the plant is dormant during late fall or very early spring as soon as the soil can be worked.

When you shop in your local nursery or garden center, you are buying plants that were dug and balled or potted much earlier when the plant was still dormant. What you are doing when you bring your new shrub or perennial home is planting not transplanting. Don’t you think trees at the garden center would be happier planted in the cool, dark earth rather than sitting on the ground in their pots or balls in the heat until fall? You aren’t digging up established shrubs when you’re purchasing from the garden center so you aren’t disturbing the root system or shocking the plant. Indeed, they’ll be grateful to you for getting them into the cool, moist earth. It is the act of digging them up and transplanting that causes severe stress. 

Many folks put off their planting until fall because they think that they shouldn’t do it now. If you have planting to do, do it as soon as you can. Planting in June or July is better than August; and August is better than September and so on. The longer the plant has to establish a root system before winter dormancy, the better. Think about it... if it wasn’t possible to plant in summer, landscapers would be out of business. 

Thanks for the read!

Published in Home & Garden

Tips and Tricks for Yard Work
by Opal Jessica Bogdan

 

GettinDirty Yardwork

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Taking the opportunity to venture outside and do yard work is a great way to split up monotony and allows everyone to enjoy the spring weather.

Not only does yard work double as a great exercise, but parents with children at home can use it as a learning opportunity. Mike Devine, landscape designer at Branches Landscape, recommended starting a compost bin or pile. 

“People are stuck home, unfortunately, and looking to make the most of their time. A lot of us are homeschooling our children as well, so compost can have two purposes: to have a nice activity and to get the kids involved with some science,” Devine said. 

To create a compost pile, Devine said a little space in the corner of a backyard is all that is needed. 

The two major components of a compost pile are carbon and nitrogen. Devine said the ratio is three to one, carbon to nitrogen. A plethora of items have carbon in them, but leaves are the biggest things most people have an abundance of. Other items such as kitchen scraps can be used in the compost, such as coffee grounds, eggshells and any leftover vegetables. 

Devine said there are varying degrees to a compost pile, ranging from a corner in the backyard to barrels or bins holding it. Placing the compost pile in a bin can help rotate the compost easier.  Rotating helps drain any water pockets.

“If you do it correctly and don’t throw any ‘garbage’ into the compost, wild animals are never an issue,” Devine said. 

Another tip Devine mentioned included cleaning areas that are normally skipped over, such a wood lines. He said going through and picking up fallen branches and raking leaves is a great way to reclaim that area as part of the landscape. 

Branches Landscape is currently open. Devine said a small part of their business, property maintenance management, has been considered essential. Anything outside of spring cleanups and mowing lawn has been closed.

Creating a garden is another way to help spend time outside. Devine said gardens can be as little as 9-square-foot area on the patio of back deck. If this is the first garden, Devine recommended peas as an easy growing crop. 

“Peas are a cool season crop that you could get the seeds at any hardware store. You can actually plant them now and not have to wait until Memorial Day for other more popular crops like tomatoes and what not. They need a little bit of cultivated ground and some sort of vertical support for them to grow up on. Watch out they grow quick,” Devine said. 

Indoor gardening is another learning opportunity for children at home. Devine said starting squash, although they can grow large in size later on, can keep kids entertained as they watch their plant grow.

“Stick them in a window or under a grow light. Experiment and play around,” Devine said.

Drive-Through Garden Center
by Opal Jessica Bogdan

 

GettinDirty HewittsSaratoga Hewitt’s Garden Center. Photo by Jaclyn Cotter-Older.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Hewitt’s Garden Center will now offer a drive-through during COVID-19 for homeowner’s lawn and garden needs. 

This past weekend, Hewitts in Saratoga opened their drive-through to offer customers a different way to purchase all their lawn care and garden products. 

“It was really great, Jaclyn Cotter-Older, manager, said. “We are one of the only garden centers open in the area, so everyone was excited to get their flowers and their plants.”

The drive through will be opened weather permitting. Cotter-Older said once a car arrives for the drive-through, they bring out a menu to your car. While waiting in the pickup line, customers can pick out what products they want and pull through the drive-through to pickup the items. Cotter-Older said most of the menu consists of flowers, vegetables and the nursery stock the store offers up-front.

“We want to do this because we are hoping to have the business as last year, if not better. But with COVID- 19 we can’t have that many people in the store,” Cotter-Older said. 

Amid COVID-19 restrictions, the store only allows a maximum of 20 people in their greenhouse. The garden center also offers curbside pickup.

“The curb side pickup is mostly for lawn care and fertilizers,” Cotter-Older said.

She added their website has every product listed, so customers can get an idea about what products they want before arriving to the garden center. Customers can order and pay online or through the phone. 

“It’s just another option to still get what you want and not have to leave the comfort of your car,” Cotter-Older said. 

All seven of Hewitt’s Garden Center locations will offer the drive-through weather permitting. The store also offers a lifetime guarantee on purchased trees and plants. 

Home Growing 
by Lorraine Hopes 

GettinDirty HomeGrowingPhoto courtesy of Lorraine Hopes.

Self-distancing becomes difficult when produce runs out at home and a trip to the grocery store must be made. However, multiple trips as often as once a week is not recommended during COVID-19. Home growing vegetables is a great way to avoid travelling during this time once the fresh produce runs out at home. 

Why buy lettuce when you can grow your own?

There are many advantages to growing your own lettuce. Growing lettuce is easy and can also be a great science project to do with your kids. Not only will it give you something fun to do while we are stuck home, in a month or so you will be blessed with a multitude of healthy fresh lettuce leaves, and have the satisfaction that you grew them yourself. No more trips to the grocery store for lettuce.

Here are some tips on growing your own lettuce:

Getting seeds, pot/container, spray bottle, and soil. - If you do not have the necessary planting items there are still seeds and planting supplies out there. Do a Google search for lettuce seeds and see what seed stores come up to order from. You can order online so you do not have to go out. 

Any leaf lettuce varieties are good like black seeded simpson, grand rapids, mesclun, salad bowl mixes, and micro-greens.

Once you gather the materials, fill your clean pot/container with new soil and water. The soil needs to be moist.  Sprinkle lettuce seeds on soil and cover with 1/8” to 1/4” soil, do not tamp down. Cover pot/container with plastic wrap and place in a south-facing window.

Check your soil everyday. Use a spray bottle to mist/water every morning or whenever the soil looks dry. 

Your lettuce should sprout in 7 to 14 days, remove plastic wrap then and continue to water.  Most lettuces will reach maturity in 45 to 55 days but you can pick them when they are small too.

To keep your lettuce growing all the time you can plant another container a week or two after the first has sprouted.

Have fun and bon appétit!

Published in Home & Garden
Thursday, 04 February 2016 11:46

Saratoga Springs’ Solar: Towards a Brighter Future

Committee Report Details Roadmap for City to Become Solar Leader

 

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Solar power is becoming more viable each day, and a Solar Committee, formed last summer by Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan, delivered a comprehensive report to the Saratoga Springs City Council at their Tuesday, February 2 meeting. The report surveyed the “state of the local solar landscape” and made several recommendations how the City can take action itself and encourage others to increase its usage.

 

Solar Committee Chairperson Larry Toole delivered a summary of the report, which began by examining current local solar situations from environmental, technological and financial perspectives – all trending towards increased favorability for solar power. As a result, the report cited research that “more solar {was} installed in one week during 2015 than was installed in all of 2006.” This is due to a variety of factors including improved efficiencies in solar panels and equipment, leading to the lowered cost of generating solar power, which Toole noted had dropped significantly: from $12/watt in 1998 to around $4.50/watt in 2013. 

 

The report also discussed various solar implementation models, from individual residence/businesses, community solar parks (where the solar array or panels are shared by a group of people, such as the inhabitants of a community or an apartment building, much the same way community gardens work), and larger “Utility Scale” installations, such as the city’s proposed Weibel Avenue Solar Park, which, when built out, could have the potential to generate 40-50 percent of city building energy needs. Commissioner Madigan has forecasted that the groundbreaking on this will occur this year. The report also listed opportunities for financial assistance from Federal and State sources to encourage solar installations.

 

The Solar Committee made seven action recommendations to the City Council to help encourage, emphasize and incentivize continued and increased utilization of solar in all areas of Saratoga Springs’ economy:

 

1- Replace the current Solar Access Ordinance 6.4.8 with the New York State Unified Solar Permit or a variation. By standardizing the process, the goal would be to encourage easier and a greater number of solar permit applications. 

2- Ensure that consideration for solar will be pervasive across all of the City’s decision making bodies, including City Council, and its Land Use Boards.

3- Encourage the City to offer “incentives” (monetary or otherwise) to encourage the inclusion of solar and other clean energy options within proposed development projects. Such incentives could be above and beyond what is available at the state and federal level.

4- The City should participate in the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program (an elective program administered by the State’s Energy Improvement Corporation. This provides financing for eligible clean energy projects) for energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to buildings.

5- Encourage builders to include a solar component within all new development proposals. Such encouragement should be included at all process gateways to ensure that at least adequate consideration be given to solar and/or other renewable energy or energy efficiency options.

6- Pursue community solar as an alternative option, especially when the installation of solar directly on a consumer’s property creates a negative impact for adjacent properties or to the community as a whole.

7. The City should adopt policies and promote actions that recognize and are sensitive to balancing the growth of solar with competing interests within the community (such as historic preservation or the environment). For example, under most circumstances it is self-defeating to advance solar installations by removal of the tree canopy.

 

The complete committee report is on the city website. Visit www.saratoga-springs.org. A copy is also in the City Clerk’s office at City Hall.

 

Published in News
Friday, 14 August 2015 18:12

Saratoga’s Solar Future Looks Bright

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Local governments around the nation are increasingly seeking ways to curb energy costs, and finally – between improved technologies and federal and state incentives – the reduction of a municipality’s carbon footprint has become both affordable and fiscally appealing. This is very good news for taxpayers, especially in a city like Saratoga Springs, with residents who are committed to lower energy costs without sacrificing environmental conservation and beauty. 

The Saratoga Springs City Council has launched two initiatives that will save homeowners, businesses, the City, and ultimately taxpayers significant energy and financial resources in the short and long-term. Additionally, the City has formed a Solar Access Committee to research additional solar energy opportunities. 

Solarize Saratoga 

Solarize Saratoga is a volunteer-driven campaign sponsored by the City of Saratoga Springs, led by Mayor Joanne Yepsen, and New York State to make it easy and affordable for households and small businesses to “go solar” utilizing funds provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) as part of the statewide NY-SUN Initiative. Community partners Sustainable Saratoga and Green Conscience Home and Garden have signed on to promote awareness of the campaign.

“The community is coming together to make it easier and more affordable for Saratoga area homeowners and businesses to install solar PV systems,” said Yepsen. Combining the power of community with a smart group purchasing strategy, Solarize helps everyone learn about solar technology, benefits, choices and financing options—together. 

The City selected two firms - Apex Solar Power, headquartered in Queensbury, and Hudson Solar, headquartered in Rhinebeck - through a competitive process to install solar PV systems in Saratoga Springs and adjacent communities. They are offering discounted group pricing for those who purchase solar before mid-October through the Solarize Saratoga program.  

Homeowners and businesses who sign up for solar installations by October 7 through the program will be able to take advantage of group rates below market prices. The more customers who sign up, the lower the price will be for all participants.

Solarize Saratoga is a nine-month program. The enrollment period began in July 2015, with the last installations wrapping up in December of 2015. For more information, visit www.solarizesaratoga.org.

Spa Solar Park

The City of Saratoga Springs awarded a bid to SunEdison on May 21, 2013 to work with the City to convert the City’s capped Weibel Avenue Landfill into a solar energy production site known as the Spa Solar Park Development. 

According to Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan in a report to the City Council, this is the City’s project, but SunEdison will build, own and maintain a 2 megawatt AC solar array on the City Landfill for an estimated 20 years.  The 2MW solar array is estimated to generate electricity equal to about 35-40 percent of the City’s current electricity usage for municipal operations. 

Sun Edison’s financial model includes funding from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA), which was received in October 2014 through the Governor’s NY-Sun Competitive PV Program.  It also includes funding from the sale of electricity to the City.  Since this is a “remote net metering” project, the actual electricity produced by the City’s solar panels will be directed to National Grid, which will provide a monetary credit to the City for amounts generated; the City, in turn, will pay SunEdison for electricity that is directed to National Grid. This payment is governed by a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”), which was approved by the Council in December 2014 and fully executed in January 2015. 

“The electricity price the City will pay to SunEdison remains the same over its entire course,” said Madigan. “The City saves money when the PPA price is lower than the National Grid credit amount, which is the anticipated result. Regardless, having a 20-year price allows for long range budget planning, as well as reduces the City’s carbon footprint.”    

“There are tremendous opportunities through federal credits or state agencies like NYSERDA that enable local governments to save taxpayer dollars not only on their next electric bill, but for years down the line. We have seen a shift to renewable energy work wonders for private homeowners or local businesses like Stewart’s, and government at all levels should strongly consider this model as a way to save money, green the environment, and reduce our dangerous dependency on fossil fuels,” said U.S. Congressman (N-21) Paul Tonko.  

In 2013, Stewart’s Shops announced it would install a 600-kilowatt photovoltaic rooftop solar energy system at its manufacturing and distribution center near Saratoga Springs. Stewart’s took advantage of federal tax credits and a rebate offered through NYSERDA to offset the cost of the $1.5 million project.  

According to Stewarts Shops spokeswoman Maria D’Amelia, “It’s doing well, the project is generating about 7 percent of our plant’s electricity needs, saving about $3,000 a month. The only thing that gets a little in the way, which made us slightly under projections, was the bad winter which gave us a bit of a backup with snow covering the panels. Otherwise, it’s been very positive, with very little maintenance, and we are very pleased.” 

Solar Access Committee

At the June 2 City Council meeting, Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan announced the formation of a committee to review the solar landscape including advances in science, technology, and how other communities handle solar access in laws and regulations. “I do think there are more things to look at than what we’ve considered so far,” said Madigan. 

Saratoga Springs resident Larry Toole chairs the Solar Access Committee. He holds an undergraduate degree in meteorology and is also a board member with Sustainable Saratoga, but makes it clear that he is on the Solar Committee as a Saratoga Springs citizen. 

“I’m interested in helping the City best understand the solar landscape in today’s world, anticipating where we might be in the future,” said Toole. “That’s dependent on lots of things, certainly the projected growth in solar is going to be quite significant, such as the signs of global warming initiatives and state and federal regulations of emissions.”

The goal of the committee is to provide context for that, as well as look at best practices regarding solar access rights, solar zoning issues, and other issues that other local governments have addressed. The committee will issue a report with recommendations in a couple of months. 

“In phase two of the Spa Solar Park there is potential for the City to add community solar,” said Toole. “This means that businesses and homeowners who do not have properties conducive to solar panels could instead purchase solar power through the Spa Solar Park array, or some other future array.” 

Looking into the solar future, Toole sees a day when no trees will be cut back or down to avoid shading solar panels on roofs, no ordinances will need to be changed to manage infill shadowing of neighboring panels, and no homeowner or business will need solar panels on their roofs. 

“Historical buildings would even be able to have solar energy,” said Toole. “Everyone would be able to purchase clean energy through a community scale project.”

For that to happen, however, New York State would have to pass legislation that require operational and billing changes in the power industry. 

“It’s inevitable that the power industry will have to go through a transformation in the next 20 to 30 years,” said Toole. “If President Obama’s mandate to the industry to reduce greenhouse gases by 32 percent by 2030 survives the courts, they will start owning more utility-scale renewable energy projects as part of their industry portfolio. When we’re 25 years down the road, 80 percent of the energy you buy from National Grid will be clean energy, so there won’t be a need to buy solar panels for rooftops. The power industry’s business model will change, but that has to start with net billing and they won’t do it unless required to by the state.”

Toole said that most indications are that the state is moving toward authorizing a community solar future, and once that happens, Saratoga Springs is likely to jump on board. This scenario is one of many that could be included in the committee’s report to the City. 

 

“I’m excited about the potential of what the committee can do,” said Toole. “We have a good cross section of concerned citizens, businesses, people with expertise in earth science and solar technology, plus support from the City, so hopefully we con provide useful information to incorporate in the future. You combine the ebb and flow between the Solarize Saratoga concept of discounts on rooftop solar, plus City savings on the Spa Solar Park, and add community solar one day, and we still have only begun to see what a solar future for Saratoga can look like.”

Published in News

SARATOGA SPRINGS — With two new solar parks in the process of getting approved, it looks like Saratoga Springs may be at the forefront of New York State’s solar energy movement. 

Published in News

Blotter

  • Saratoga  County Court Lorenzo J. Parker, 28, of Schenectady, was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in a state correction facility and 1 year post-release supervision, after pleading to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth-degree, charged February 2022 in Clifton Park.  Annmarie Balzano, 54, of Ballston Spa, pleaded to felony DWI, charged June 2023 in Malta. Sentencing Sept. 19.  Cedric D. Sanchez, 28, of Yonkers, N.Y., pleaded to attempted burglary in the second-degree, charged in Milton. Sentencing Aug. 2.  Matthew G. Peck, 46, of Saratoga Springs, pleaded to felony DWI, charged November 2023 in Milton. Sentencing Aug. 16.  Lacey C.…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON  Lynn Joyce sold property at 88 Beacon St to Elizabeth Demuro for $400,000 Adrianne Abbruzzese sold property at 67 Cornerstone Dr to Marjorie Young for $366,000 US Bank Trust NA as Trust sold property at 56 Ballston Ave to Olivia Mannion for $325,000 Eastline Holdings LLC sold property at 8 Aspen Dr to TongCheng Chen for $536,069 American Estate and Trust sold property at 151 Kingsley Rd to Susan Messere for $200,000 Bernard Ingram sold property at 17 Everson Way to Michal Pastore for $549,000 CORINTH Carey Mann sold property at 18 Pine St to William Freeman for $200,000…
  • NYPA
  • Saratoga County Chamber
  • BBB Accredited Business
  • Discover Saratoga
  • Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association