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Schenectady County Earns Climate Smart Communities Silver Certification

County Legislators with DEC Interim Commissioner with Schenectady County's Plaque Designating it a Silver Certified Climate Smart Community

One of the First Municipalities in Capital Region and

One of Only 13 Municipalities in NYS to Earn Silver Certification


Schenectady County proudly announces its achievement of Climate Smart Community Silver Certification, marking a significant milestone in its commitment to sustainability. Schenectady County is one of only two Capital Region municipalities to receive this recognition.

Climate Smart Communities (CSC) is a New York State program that helps local governments take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate. The program offers grants, rebates for electric vehicles, and free technical assistance.[1]

“Achieving Certified Climate Smart Communities Silver Certification showcases our commitment to creating a more sustainable community,” said Gary Hughes, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “By implementing forward-thinking initiatives like the Schenectady County Solar Consortium and our LED lighting program, we've shown that investing in our environment is not only crucial for preserving the natural resources we treasure but also a smart investment for Schenectady County taxpayers.”

To achieve Climate Smart Community certification, local governments accumulate points for planning and implementing actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve community resilience to the worsening impacts of climate change.

Schenectady County has embarked on several initiatives aimed at mitigating environmental impacts and fostering sustainability:

Schenectady County Solar Consortium

The Schenectady County Solar Consortium grew out of the County-Wide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plan required by the 2017-2018 New York State budget and was unanimously approved by the County and each of the eight county municipalities in August of 2017.

The Consortium transformed unusable land into green, renewable energy-producing sites with 266.2Mw of solar energy capacity, which can create 32Mw/h of energy. The solar farms were built by DSD Renewables, formerly GE Solar, at no expense to County taxpayers and are projected to save taxpayers over $25 million over the expected 25-year lifetime of the system. The final site, located at the landfill on Barhydt Road in Glenville, come online in July of 2021.


  • Closed landfill on Pattersonville-Rynex Corners Road in Rotterdam
  • Closed landfill at 156 Barhydt Road in Glenville
  • Closed landfill on Cheltingham Avenue in Schenectady
  • Commerce Park Drive solar farm in Niskayuna
  • 59 Hetcheltown Road solar farm in Glenville
  • Anthony Street site in Schenectady
  • Former L & M Motel at 2 Rice Road in Rotterdam

LED Lighting

In 2023 Schenectady County announced the completion of a project to convert 348 streetlights, mainly on County roads, from high intensity discharge lamps (HID) to light emitting diode lights (LED). The project cost $23,456 and the County received an energy efficiency incentive of over $25,000 from National Grid to offset the cost. Lighting in 13 County buildings was converted to LED lights in 2022.

Together these initiatives are expected to save taxpayers approximately $100,000 annually and lower emissions equivalent to those created by the consumption of over 65,000 gallons of gasoline.

EV Charging Stations

Schenectady County has installed over 50 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations at 11 locations throughout the County to make our community more EV-friendly and reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

  • All nine branches of the Schenectady County Public Library system;
  • 420 Broadway parking lot; and
  • Schenectady County’s Glendale Home in Glenville.

Since 2017, when the County’s first EV charging stations were installed at the Hon. Karen B. Johnson (Central) Library, they have supplied over 75,000kWh, or the equivalent of 2,250 gallons of gasoline, keeping 20 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the environment.

Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

Schenectady County is working to add more electric and hybrid vehicles to its fleet as vehicles come up for replacement. Currently the County has two electric vehicles and 6 hybrid vehicles, which are expected to save on fuel costs while reducing carbon emissions. Schenectady County received $15,000 from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in 2022 towards the purchase of the electric vehicles.  

Additional Initiatives

Cleanup of former brownfield sites through our unified economic development team, lead by Schenectady Metroplex, that were later developed into Mohawk Harbor and Rivers Resort & Casino.

Partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schenectady County on Schenectady Recycles Waste Reduction campaign, which hosts classes throughout the year and was critical in starting several community compost sites in the City of Schenectady.

Planted over 30 trees on Dean Street in Niskayuna to beautify the neighborhood which also serves as a traffic-calming measure.

Visit for more information about Schenectady County’s sustainability initiatives.

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