MIDDLESEX, N.Y. (WROC) — Since leaving Rochester in 1967, the Rochester Folk Art Guild has built a home in Middlesex as a community of artisans who focus on traditional crafts. Now they’re looking to step into the future with a new solar array.
“We have an aspiration to be more sustainable and to be friendlier to what the earth and to take care of the earth in ways that may be people need to start doing a lot more of it,” said Schliffer.
According to Paul Schliffer, the treasurer of the guild, the project has been in the works for over a decade. Due in part to waiting for the technology to advance, but also due to funding.
“All the incentives that come through tax credits don’t apply to us. So that was a real stumbling block. You know because we had to raise much more money even just to get started with the project and even a homeowner would,” said Schliffer.
The grant, from the New York State Council on the Arts, will cover most of the cost of the installation and their connection to the grid. Which can be one of the costliest parts of building a new solar array. Once the array is complete it should support most of their needs.
“It’s going to supply about all of our electrical needs averaged over the course of the whole year,” said Schliffer.
He says they’re planning on a 10-kilowatt solar array, which according to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory calculator should generate over 11,000 kilowatt hours through a normal year. He also added that, in more ways than one, this marks the next phase for the community.
“We were looking to the future. You know we’ve been here for over 50 years building this community and we really want to give it over to the next generation and see what more can be done with it,” said Schliffer.
While they’re waiting for the next generation, they are inviting people to come visit the guild, hosting a number of events like their “Lecture on the Lawn” series, and a number of concerts. The East Hill Gallery is also open on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.
For more information on their events and the guild itself, you can visit their website.