County legislature includes firefighters in solar plans

ALBANY — The designs and connections for solar panels on county-owned buildings need to be known by firefighters who may be in danger otherwise, according to a resolution passed unanimously by the county legislature Monday night.

The resolution, introduced by Legislator Travis Stevens, says that a local fire department will be given the solar panel manufacturer’s installation information, plans showing the proposed layout of the panels, and where the electricity can be disconnected from the panels.

“Whether it is daylight or electronic lamp light, solar panels may continue to produce electricity making electric shock one of the hazards faced when responding to structures where they are present,” Stevens, a member of the Knox Volunteer Fire Department, said in a release. “They could also present access issues to structures and prevent firefighters from making ventilation holes in roofs.” 

The resolution requires the county to also have placards on a county building to notify firefighters of solar installations, and fire departments will be given placement and connection information on all installations already in place.

Stevens represents Altamont, East Berne, Guilderland Center, and Knox.

— Marcello Iaia

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