Development Framework Brings Together Solar Company and Community Group to Light Up the Holidays | Lewis County

LOWVILLE – Looking out the window of Naturally Lewis’ office in the village, Cheyenne Steria, director of finance and incentives at the County Industrial Development Agency, took inspiration from the decorated tree in front of the Lewis County Historical Society .

“I had this idea in mind that we had to light the main streets of our villages for the end of the year celebrations,” said Ms. Steria. “I thought if I had solar lights, maybe I could get a solar company to pay for them. “

She approached Emily and David Khasidy, of Brooklyn-based Clear Path Energy, who were very willing. Giving back to the communities that help them set up and host solar projects is part of their philosophy, to use their marketing dollars differently from most energy project development companies that contact residents with mailings and flyers. conventional.

“We decided to do it a little differently and redirect those marketing dollars to the communities that support these projects,” said Ms. Khasidy, who leads marketing and community development efforts for the company. “Something where the community says, ‘Hey, can you help us here? And it’s usually not (people saying things) just to us, it’s community members saying (things) to other community members, and we stay tuned for those opportunities. when we can say, “Hey, can we help too? “‘”

Ms. Steria’s next step was to contact Lori Rhubart and a group of local residents inspired by Ms. Rhubart’s Facebook campaign, Lights of Lowville, which calls on people to light up their homes to help bring “extra smiles” through the community. Christmas season.

The group will meet on Saturday morning to complete their mission to light up the village to the upper level by hanging solar lights from the 25 trees that line State Street. Any extra strands will be used at the Clock Tower Park at the corner of State and Stowe Streets.

Ms. Steria hopes that Clear Path Energy’s collaboration and participation could inspire other business groups, like the Lowville Business Association, to do something as well.

“It’s an opportunity to make them more active, especially if you have people who see some value in getting involved on board. Maybe they will help bring about positive change, ”she said.

Clear Path Energy, which is developing two side-by-side community solar projects on Brewery Road in the town of New Bremen to produce a combined power of 9 megawatts, hopes this is just the first of many contributions to the Lewis County community. .

“We’re long term owners and operators, so we’re making this investment, but we’ve been really part of the community for, hopefully, 30 or 40 years, so we just want to be good neighbors,” said M. Khasidy, Clear Co-founder and CEO of Path. “We want to be part of the community and lend a helping hand where the community really needs it instead of where we think people need it. We want people to know that they can count on us for help, support, ideas, to solve (problems) … maybe other (solar) companies will do the same .

The Lights of Lowville group will meet at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the offices of the Chamber of Commerce and Naturally Lewis, 7551 S. State St.

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