The small Town of Essex, N.Y. — population approximately 621 — is a big player among North Country communities who are building our region’s clean energy future. Town leaders have been working with ANCA Energy Circuit Riders (ECRs) since 2016 to seek out and implement forward-looking energy projects that benefit their community. This year, they celebrated their biggest project to date. On Earth Day 2023, Town Supervisor Kenneth Hughes and his team gathered with community members, elected officials and local partners to commemorate the installation of a 17.55 kilowatt solar array on the roof of the historic Whallonsburg Grange Hall. The project will help to significantly reduce the building’s carbon footprint and energy costs, saving taxpayer dollars and more than 29,000 pounds of CO2 emissions each year.

“Essex town leaders should be commended not only for their commitment to clean energy projects, but for creatively layering a variety of funding sources to maximize the size of the solar array. By doing so, the historic Grange Hall has taken on a new role of educating the community on the benefits of locally produced, clean, renewable energy.” ~ ANCA Energy Circuit Rider Nancy Bernstein