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Solar & Green Building Tour

of the Greater Capital Region

As part of the national NESEA Green Building Open House tour on October 5th, many who have invested in solar and green building projects open their homes and businesses to area residents. If you are not in this area see NESEA's site for other houses to visit.

The reason for the open house tour is to let you see what can be accomplished in our area, and to give you the opportunity to ask questions about why, how, who, how much, etc.

Please join us, learn and share by taking a ride Saturday, October 5th, 10 am to 4 pm and visiting some of the many waiting to greet you and answer your questions.

Over 35 homes and businesses will be participating in this year's tour. How to plan your tour!

Below is a list of the homes and businesses on our local tour this year, many provide "more details." Here is a larger map with an index: click on the name/details and its map flag is highlighted, making it easy to find the specific house you are interested in.

Interested in opening your home and sharing your green and solar experience?  Contact us!

Sarah Johnston & Dave Smalley, 591 Lansing Rd., Fultonville, NY 12072: Off Grid Home for 11+ years, PV Solar heat, solar hot water, and many homesteading & sustainability projects. See more details.
Paul & Joanne Coons, 4 Balsam Way, Clifton Park: 8.4 kW of PV, solar hot water, geothermal heat pump, life breath HRV, cool roof, close cell foam insulation, paper stone countertops, reclaimed lumber, American Clay plaster, net zero energy home, LEED Platinum, NAHB Emerald, NY Energy Star Home, EPA indoor air plus, LEAF electric car. See more details.
Jim Strickland & Laurie Freeman, 206 MacGregor Rd. Gloversville, NY: Mother Earth News homesteaders of the year in 2012 - see article. Off Grid, timber-frame, straw-bale home. PV, Solar Hot Water, and many homesteading & sustainability projects.  See more details.
Nancy & Donald White, 21 Garnsey Rd, Rexford, NY 12148: PV, solar hot water, solar tubes, greenhouse, thermal mass, Energy Star Home, rain water catchment, many gardening aspects. See more details.
Tec-Smart, A branch of HVCC, 345 Hermes Road, Malta, NY: Offers technical training in PV, Wind, Geothermal, and Solar Hot Water. Will display class and renewable energy infrastructure during tour. See more details.
Jim Clauson, 473 Van Antwerp Rd, Johnstown, NY 12095. Built very energy efficient home 20 years ago. Recently upgraded to include geothermal heat pump and ground mounted solar electric.  See more details.
Randy Simon, 322 Papa Pl, Schenectady, NY 12303: Large 9.1 kW PV array provides more than 90% of our electricity and now some of our "gasoline," since it powers our Plug-in Honda Accord PHEV. I'll have more details on "gas" milage by the Solar Tour in October.  
Darrow School, 110 Darrow Road, New Lebanon, NY 12125: Solar heat, hot water and electric, Environmental Center with Living Machine, and other sustainable practices. The primary contact at the school is Craig Westcott. See more details.
Kling Magnetics, 343 New York Route 295, Chatham, NY 12037: We produce our electricity from 77.6kW pv system, generate hot water from solar thermal collectors, and heat our facility with a vegetable oil boiler utilizing fryer oil collected from local restaurants. Plus Solar AC! See more details.

Michael Cellini, 2575 Johnson Road, Scotia, NY 12302: Zero Energy Home: PV system producing 110% of homes electrical needs; Solar Thermal Hot Water System producing 100% of homes 3-season hot water needs; Outdoor Wood Boiler producing 100% of homes heating needs and winter hot water needs Passive Solar Home practices: south facing facade, insulated window shades, etc. See more details.

Shade Tree Meteorology, LLC, 2766 Rosendale Rd., Niskayuna, New York 12309. Residence with in-home business, added insulated night time shutters to south facing passive solar glass wall, improved insulation with 4" rigid foam when adding new roof, then installed grid tied 4.5 KW solar PV system mounted on two poles which allow tilt adjustment for solar elevation changes as needed. See more details.

Allard Engineering Residence, 61 Blue Hill Road, Great Barrington, MA 01230: Original dome mathematics is the basis for the design which attempts to create all needed heat from the sun. 100% Solar. See more details.

Thom Pecoraro, 299 Newton Rd., Stephentown Center, NY 12169, 3.15 Kw PV array, radiant floor heat with an inexpensive hot water heater and passive solar with cement slab. Seven years in the making - more details.

James & Beth Bouleris, 9 Knottingley Place, Ballston Lake, New York 12019. 26 Canadian Solar CS6P-240M panels, SMA SB6000US inverter, on a UniRac Sun Frame, plus passive solar sunroom. We also have a Chevy Volt to charge from our solar panels; our dealer will be at our house with a Volt you can drive when you visit. See more details.
Mabee Farm, Franchere Education Center, 1080 Main Street, Rotterdam Jct, NY 12150: PV, geothermal heating & cooling, PV, super insulation, recycled materials, efficient lighting & appliances. See more details.

Howard & Margaret Stoner, 2318 17th St, Troy, NY 12180: This well insulated city home uses little fossil fuel, with PV and a wood stove. As interesting are the gardening, manual tools and machines, and chickens in this urban farmlet. See more details.
Patty Watt, 308 Carrolls Grove Road, Troy, NY (home located in the Town of Brunswick), 4.1 kW PV system provides 100% of our electrical needs.  Other simple energy savings improvements done to update this old farm house to a more environmentally sustainable home. See more details.
Amy and Russ Pokorny, 69 Beebe Road, Knox, NY, 12023. Grid tied, but mostly run off grid. Solar Electric with batteries, 1 kW Bergey Wind Generator, Sun Frost Refrigerator, Tulikivi Masonry Stove and a 220 V Car charging station in our garage and their electric Leaf. See more details.

Stu Besnoff, 189 North Street, Windsor, MA 01270: Solar hot water used for domestic hot water, space heat, and swimming pool heat; heat recovery ventilation; energy recovery ventilation; spray foam insulation, standby inverter and battery backup for solar pumps and controls. See
more details.
John & Terri Cerveny, 106 Pheasant Walk, Schenectady, NY 12303: Improved insulation, high efficiency natural gas boiler, new radiant heat system, 4.5 kW PV system, 160 ft. sq. flat plate solar thermal system, CFL and LED lighting, water barrels, PV solar awning, Chevy Volt and more.  John is an Al Gore trained Global Warming speaker available locally - see details.
Ron and Jan Bever, 227 Green Road North, Charleston, NY 12072. Off-grid solar wind and PV. Passive solar and wood stove heated, Owner built home and homestead. Solar maple syrup. Learn to take control of your life and be as independent as possible! The government is Not your friend or here to help you, help yourself!  More details…
Mark Warford, 482 Orchard St. Delmar, NY 12054. 6.4 KW PV system that is connected to the grid, on demand hot water system, wood heat with gravity ventilation between floors, vented root cellar. I also love to talk about the Green our school is doing. More details...

Tim & Louise Healey, 1843 Thompsons Lake Road, East Berne, NY 12059. 5.2 kW, ground mounted PV provides 100% of our electricity, GE Hybrid Electric Water Heater, and a wood stove for most of our heat. See more details.
Donna and Gary Lessard, 2205 Central Parkway, Schenectady, NY 12309. We are focusing on making our house and food greener at our city location. 3.88 kW solar electric, solar hot water, primarily wood heat and a lot of insulation for our home. We have a greenhouse, 6 raised beds, 4 fruit trees, grapes for wine, several flower beds. Please park on street and no pets. See more details and pictures.
Clarence "Rennie" & Sue Fountain, 311 Kings Rd, Schenectady NY 12304.  Our adventure toward resiliency is mostly food and lifestyle, including: diverse, no-till garden that covers over 2/3 of our city lot; movable unheated green house; cool room for root and other crops, heat with wood, and a lot more. See more details and pictures.

Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library, 475 Moe Road, Clifton Park, NY 12065. Designed and built with the environment foremost in mind, the Library provides a healthier indoor environment for patron families and staff. Interior fixtures and furnishings include regionally-sourced masonry and structural steel forged from scrap metal; a window wall that allows extensive use of day lighting; carpets made from bio-based fibers, recycled tires and plastic and counter tops made from recycled metal and resins.

Century Solar Supply, 2600 Sixth Avenue, Troy, NY 12203. 47kW roof top panels supply 100% of our electricity. Plus we have 24 panels on a dual-axis tracker in the parking lot. We have a room dedicated to the inverters used and a demo roof inside as well. Also, we have electric vehicle charging stations, several different types of photovoltaic panels, solar hot water panels and storage tank on display. More details.
High Peaks Solar, 180 Main Avenue, Wynantskill NY 12182.  First Floor, front entrance. 4.2 kW PV array, super insulated, all electric heating and cooling, biofuel use onsite, LED lighting. When finished this will be a Net-Zero building, getting all its heat, hot water, lighting, etc. from electricity (solar PV). Please park in the front of the building, or across the street in the parking lot if there is no available space in front of the building. Parking is also available in the driveway.

Jon Macht, 121 Balance Rock Road, Lanesborough, MA 01201: Large pressurized drainback solar hot water system for domestic hot water, to heat house and indoor pool, which acts as a energy storage thermal mass - used less than 150 gal oil last year. Also solar electric. More details.

Christian Grieco, 71 Henderson Rd, Glenmont NY. Solar PV (4.7 KwH), Solar Thermal (80 gallon tank), TED 5000 electrical monitoring, Soapstone Wood Stove for primary heating, High efficiency triple pane south face windows, South facing awnings, Energy Star rated appliances, Replaced fiberglass insulation in attic and basement with blown foam, and three plug-in hybrid vehicles. More details...

Mark & Donna Howland, 239 Begley Road, Esperance, NY 12066: 1 kW Wind generator and Solar Panels, Arxx ICF (full basement), radiant heat in basement, garage & living area, environmentally friendly stain, northern white cedar logs(full round). outdoor solar lights. More details...

D.J. Koumanis, MD, 17 Preserve Way, Saratoga Springs NY. PV, LED lighting, solar thermal for domestic hot water, radiant heat and pool use. Outdoor tour highlights the energy efficient pool that won a NYS award for innovation and excellence. More details...

The Pig Pit , 1 Niver St., Cohoes, NY. Large PV system (37 Canadian Solar CS6P-250P panels with Enphase M215-60-2LL-S2x-NA mini inverters) for a total 9,250 Watts. Great place for lunch while on the Solar Tour! More details...

Cambell Ave Storage, 525 Campbell Ave, Troy, NY 12180. 8.1 KW of solar power. This self-storage business gets most of the electric from the sun and plans to get more soon. All lighting switched to high efficiency LED. Stop and visit, parking space available.  More details...

Aaron & Liz Markham, 2495 W Old State Rd, Schenectady: 5.04 kW of PV, solar hot water, high efficiency boiler, Chevy Volt Plug-In-Hybrid and Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid. More details...

Ed and Millie Lawrence, 154 County Route 52, Greenwich, NY. Not net-zero, but mighty close. Our annual energy bill is $600 for power plus 2 cords of wood. That is it, thanks to our southern exposure, our DHW, our Greenhouse, our Sand Banks storing heat in the cellar, our 40R walls and 60R roof and 3.0 kW grid-tied PV. If the sun shines our meter spins backwards - come take a look!


Solar Tour Bonuses

Radix Center, 153 Grand Street, Albany. Attend virtual tour here or visit on-site tour last Sunday every month at 1pm. See 20' x 60' passively solar heated greenhouse/bioshelter, 1,200 gallon recirculating aquaponics system, 2,600 gallon rain water collection system, community-scale composting program, microlivestock - chickens, ducks, rabbits, pigeons, honeybees, duck-a-poop-a-ponics, vegetable oil powered vehicles, vermicomposting, numerous raised bed gardens/perennial food forest system, and a bunch more.

The ‘ARC’HIMEDES by Carter Quillen and Diane Eggers. Unless you're touring around the coast of Florida, this will have to be via the internet. Still worth the time to visit the world's largest solar powered concrete boat that is currently on tour to show just what can be done with the power of the sun! Here is the story of a renewable energy advocate and engineer who has gone solar boating. More details… and a recent article.