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Monolith Solar exec calls National Grid part of ‘old boys network’

Company executive says National Grid ties up OK on firm’s projects

A top executive at Monolith Solar once again blasted National Grid and other utilities for dragging their feet on signing off on solar farms across upstate.

Steve Erby, president and chief operating officer of Monolith, said that the delays have tied up millions of dollars in capital, forcing it to also delay construction of a new headquarters building in Slingerlands.

Erby and Monolith CEO Mark Fobare were at a meeting of the Bethlehem Industrial Development Agency on Wednesday morning, hoping to get an extension of time for the project to be completed and still receive up to $680,000 in tax breaks for the $4.6 million project through the IDA.

Erby bluntly blamed National Grid for the delays to the project, which was first announced in 2014.

Monolith has been unable to close on financing for the project because it has spent million of its own capital building solar farms for municipalities and school districts.

The projects don’t start making money for Monolith until the utility signs off on the connection to the electric grid, a process that can take many months Erby said, even though it takes his crews just a couple of weeks to build.

Erby said that traditional electric utilities like National Grid just don’t want to have these large solar farms be connected to the grid.

“It’s an old boys network and they’re not used to the new clean energy future,” Erby said. “But I know that things are going to come around in our favor.”

Read full article at Times Union