Harckham, Lewisboro Officials Announce Electrification Grant Project

Lewisboro Electrification

State Sen. Pete Harckham at the electrification project announcement in Lewisboro with (l-r) Robert T. Whittaker, Deputy Supervisor Dan Welsh, Andrea Rojas, Robert Fischman, Kerri Wolfe, Supervisor Tony Gonçalves and State Assemblymember Chris Burdick

South Salem, NY - New York State Senator Pete Harckham and officials from the Town of Lewisboro announced this week that the Town’s planned solar carport at Onatru Farm Town Park is the first “shovel ready” electrification project set to go as part of the $2.1 million in New York State Senate grant funding Harckham made available to local municipalities to transition away from fossil fuels and promote a clean energy future. 

Present at the announcement in Onatru Farm Town Park were Lewisboro Town Supervisor Tony Gonçalves, Deputy Supervisor Dan Welsh, several members of the Lewisboro Sustainability Committee and New York Assemblymember Chris Burdick. To view a video of the announcement, click here

“It’s time to find clean energy solutions in our communities as we work to reduce energy consumption and improve the health and safety of New Yorkers,” said Harckham. “Reaching the clean energy tipping point is going to take a lot of collaboration and partnerships, like this project here in the Town of Lewisboro. The solar carport planned here for Onatru Farm Park means less energy from the grid and savings for Lewisboro taxpayers. Congratulations to Supervisor Gonçalves and his Lewisboro colleagues for taking advantage of this opportunity and getting it on the drawing board so quickly.” 

Harckham has made available to each municipality in the 40th Senate District up to $100,000 of Community Resiliency, Economic Sustainability, and Technology Program (CREST) funding to support projects reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

The solar carport planned for Onatru Farm Park is expected to generate approximately half of all the electricity used at the park annually. 

Onatru Farm Town Park was donated to the Town of Lewisboro for open space and recreational use by Alice Lane Poor, a longtime local civic leader whose father Edward Lane owned the property. The park preserves and honors the rural and natural life of the area, while also providing plenty of playing fields for baseball, soccer, lacrosse and other sports, along with tennis courts. The original farmhouse on the property is the site of the annual Lewisboro Library Fair and home to the Town’s Parks & Recreation Department. 

Supervisor Gonçalves said, “There was a windmill on this site long ago, and many working farms today are incorporating wind and solar energy in their operations. It’s exciting to bring back this element of energy self-sufficiency to the Onatru campus to highlight its role as a demonstration site. We hope this provides some inspiration to households and businesses to join in the effort to transition to clean energy. 

“The Solar Carport, which will be paid for by the funds being allocated to CREST, is an exciting project, and I am thankful to the Sustainability Committee for helping to identify the highest impact electrification project,” added Gonçalves. “I would also like to thank Sustainable Westchester for helping analyze the site and consult on the options. Thank you, Senator Harckham, for making available the funds to the Town of Lewisboro.” 

Deputy Supervisor Dan Welsh said, “We are thankful for this support in Lewisboro 's transition to clean energy. It’s particularly important for us to seek out opportunities to lead and demonstrate the measures that will be needed to ensure a sustainable future for our community—and our planet.  Our board, with the effective assistance of the state legislative delegation, has been able to execute a number of important civic and social infrastructure projects, and we are excited about this big step forward on the environmental front, hopefully, the first of many such projects for Lewisboro.” 

Andrea Rojaz, a member of the Lewisboro Sustainability Committee, said, “This is an awesome day for Lewisboro and our kids! It serves as affirmation that their community leaders are not only advocating for a sustainable future for them but actually realizing it in tangible projects like this solar carport that they can be proud of when they visit Onatru.” 

Robert T. Whittaker, a member of the Lewisboro Sustainability Committee, said, “Our children and grandchildren are begging us to stop harming their future with increasing climate change. Actions like this project make a difference and show them, beyond just words, that we are listening to them, and we do care. Every step forward counts.” 

Robert Fischman, a member of the Lewisboro Sustainability Committee, said, “The Sustainability Committee is grateful for the support provided by Senator Harckham that will enable Lewisboro to install this solar photovoltaic system that will generate clean, renewable electricity for the town offices at Onatru Farm. Residents coming here to enjoy a youth soccer game, play tennis, conduct their business, take in the fireworks or the Library Fair will see that our town has taken meaningful action to make Lewisboro a more sustainable community. We hope they will be inspired to make their own homes more climate-friendly while saving energy dollars, just as our Town is doing." 

Assemblymember Chris Burdick said, “Thanks to the wonderful collaboration of the state government, the town government, Sustainable Westchester and the community, Lewisboro is the first out of the gate on Senator Harckham’s grant program. This is an example of leadership meeting climate goals, while also cutting operating costs for the taxpayers. Onatru Farm Park will now not only be a beautiful, bucolic space for families, community events and sports, it will also be a symbol of environmental progress.”