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CaptionCloseTroyMonolith Solar is installing solar panels on the Knickerbacker Ice Arena roof as the city aims to turn on its 2.1 megawatt citywide solar system in May.Workers carried the roughly 4-by-6-foot panels across the roof before gingerly lowering...

Troy working with Monolith on solar array

CaptionCloseTroyMonolith Solar is installing solar panels on the Knickerbacker Ice Arena roof as the city aims to turn on its 2.1 megawatt citywide solar system in May.Workers carried the roughly 4-by-6-foot panels across the roof before gingerly lowering...

Troy working with Monolith on solar array

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Monolith Solar is installing solar panels on the Knickerbacker Ice Arena roof as the city aims to turn on its 2.1 megawatt citywide solar system in May.

Workers carried the roughly 4-by-6-foot panels across the roof before gingerly lowering them into the frames that will support them.

"It's great. We're getting into reduced electricity costs and reducing the carbon footprint," Mayor Patrick Madden said.

Madden climbed up on the arena's roof with Monolith's co-presidents, CEO Mark Fobare and COO Steven A. Erby, to inspect the installation.

"I see lots of glass going up," Erby said about the panels.

Monolith Solar is spending more than $4 million to install the system. The city anticipates saving $100,000 annually in electricity costs or about 40 percent of its electricity bill.

In addition to the Knickerbacker Ice Area, the solar panels will be located at Frear Park, the city landfill site, County Waste building on land owned by the Troy Local Development Corp. in South Troy, and the Public Works garage.

The largest array will be at the landfill, where panels producing 600 kilowatts of power will be installed.

Deputy Mayor Monica Kurzejeski said the Crosstown Plaza in Schenectady will be part of the project as part of an off-site component. Originally, Troy Plaza was asked to be included, but that site was committed to another project.

Fobare said he would like to place a plaque at the landfill to honor the late Bill Chamberlain, the city's director of operations, for his work in securing the approvals for the solar array to go up there.

Troy represents one of the largest customers for Monolith. Its 2.1 megawatts is the largest in the 30 megawatt portfolio.

Fobare said Monolith has been doubling its business annually for the last eight years. The company just hired 35 workers, he said, to bring its workforce to 105 employees. He added that more hires will be taking place as the firm continues to expand.

The company recently opened an office in Syracuse to supervise work in the western part of the state. Monolith has contracts with the state for work along the New York State Thruway, Fobare said.

The city began its foray into solar energy in 2015 when it decided to seek an alternative power source.

kcrowe@timesunion.com • 518-454-5084 • @KennethCrowe

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