New partnership brings green economy to Kingston rooftops

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July 29, 2016

RUPCO - Green Jobs | Green NY, GRID Alternatives Solar Project 07 11 16

“The green economy is right now, and it’s right here on this roof.” Those were the words of Mayor Steve Noble of Kingston, New York at the home of Bob and Jeanne Riggins on July 7, a beautiful sunny day--perfect for the installation of a brand new rooftop solar system.

Bob, a retired truck driver, grew up in this home. He supports his family on a fixed income, and in recent years, the entire Riggins family has been impacted by rising electricity costs. However, their new 4.4 kW solar system is expected to save them more than $30,000 over the system’s lifetime.

The Riggins’ system is the first of 10 demonstration projects which will showcase the value of residential solar in the City of Kingston. The projects are part of a partnership between GRID Alternatives Tri-State, the Mayor’s Office of Community Development and RUPCO, with funding from NeighborWorks America.

“The cost of utilities has always been an exacerbating factor in terms of housing costs,” said Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of RUPCO. "In addition to lowering costs and using alternative [energy], [this project] is going to create a number of jobs--it already has.”

Also participating in the installation were several job trainees from Ulster YouthBuild, a local job training, educational and leadership development program for low-income young people in Ulster County, NY.

“Our mission in YouthBuild is to provide any kind of training that we can get, so that they have a better chance of being able to get real employment when they finish the program,” said Bonnie Landi, Executive Director of Ulster YouthBuild. “This opportunity that RUPCO brought us to with GRID Alternatives has been exciting.”

Thanks to the the Mayor’s Office of Kingston, RUPCO, Ulster Youth Build, and Neighborworks America for their ongoing support as we continue to make solar energy and job training accessible to Kingston families.