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Port of Oswego takes steps to become more energy independent


The Port of Oswego is considering a new contract with an energy integration company intended to help the port save money, and possibly become a net-zero energy user.

The Port of Oswego could enter a 20-year agreement with Entecco, a company that develops and operates renewable and non-renewable energy sources for municipalities and government entities. As part of the contract, the port would get several solar arrays on its roof, two clean natural gas generators, an energy storage facility and a metering system that would help the port keep track of how much energy it’s using and when.

Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen, who serves on the port’s board of directors, says the facility could be on the cutting edge of green technology.

“It’s going to happen, the question is when and how, and who’s going to do it,” Gillen said. “And I think that that is where we are right now, and we’ll talk more as we meet with Entecco, and find out what the stages are for development and planning. And I think it should prove pretty interesting stuff.”

Entecco president John Bay says the company wouldn't just install the equipment and walking away.

“We don’t just come in and want to throw aluminum siding on your house, or solar panels on your roof,” Bay said. “There’s a reason for this, there’s a cost justification for this. This has to be economically and environmentally sound.”

Bay says the plan is to provide the port with enough energy sources to possibly become energy neutral in the future.

“They’re going to be a generator and consumer of their own energy,” Bay explained. “They’re going to do it through renewables and non-renewables. So renewables would be solar, wind, geothermal, and non-renewables would be things like natural gas.”

The contract would allow the port and the company to also form a private-public partnership that could generate profits when the port has extra energy to sell.

The entire project will cost about $2.9 million, but NYSERDA incentives could lower the cost to about $2.2 million. It should be fully in place by 2016.