Albany County solar array developers join county executive in leading project tour, presentation to Capital Region BOCES, Colonie Central students

Students sit in attendance listening to a man in a suit, a politician, as he speaks in front of a chart projected behind him.
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy speaks to students from Capital Region BOCES and Colonie Central High School.

Representatives of two businesses charged with creating a solar array for Albany County met with students on Thursday from Capital Region BOCES and Colonie Central High School to detail the project.

Brad Richardson of Calibrant Energy and Steve Foley of Sunrise Power Solutions led dozens of students on two separate tours of the new solar farm being constructed adjacent to the Capital Region BOCES Career & Technical Education Center – Albany Campus on Watervliet-Shaker Road in Colonie. They also gave a detailed presentation on the abilities of the farm to produce energy, as well as the need for workers to fill jobs constructing solar farms.

“There’s a heck of a lot of work coming up with solar projects and energy efficiency,” said Richardson. “The demand is high for workers to fill these jobs.”

Richardson and Foley told the students that their local solar photovoltaic ground-mount array will produce enough energy to “charge 650,000 iPhone 13’s every day for a year” or power 10 million hours of video game playing.

Announced on Sept. 1, 2023, Albany County’s first major solar photovoltaic ground-mount array is located on five acres of property located at 897 Watervliet Shaker Road in the town of Colonie. The 2.1-megawatt solar array is being developed for Albany County by Siemens. The solar project will be owned and operated by Calibrant Energy, a joint venture between Siemens and the financial services company Macquarie Group.

“This project will provide students at Capital Region BOCES first-hand experience in the construction, installation and maintenance process for this technology, in turn gaining valuable work-based experience in the field,” said Capital Region BOCES Director of Special Projects & Strategic Partnerships Joseph P. Dragone, Ph.D.

“I appreciate Calibrant’s willingness to come here today and help educate the industry’s future workforce,” he added.

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy attended the afternoon tour and presentation, praising the businesses for putting a charge in the learning of the Colonie Central and Career and Technical Education students while shining a light on green energy.

“It’s crucial we recognize the pivotal role our students can play in shaping a sustainable future by pursuing a career in renewable energy,” McCoy said. “I thank our partners at Siemens and Calibrant Energy for providing our Capital Region BOCES and South Colonie School District students the opportunity to get hands-on experience with the construction, installation and maintenance of a solar array.”

While speaking with the students, he added “here is a career path that you will always have a job in. These jobs aren’t going away in the next 10, 20, 30 years.”

The Career and Technical Education Center is home to two programs that directly power the renewable energy workforce.

The Capital Region BOCES Electrical Trades program prepares students for careers as electricians, linemen and in emerging renewable technologies, as well as within other sectors of the industry. The program teaches students the fundamental skills in electrical theory through classroom instruction and hands-on shop lessons.

The Network Technology program helps students develop a unique understanding of today’s ever-growing field of network connectivity and emerging technologies. Through lectures, course work and hands-on activities, students have the opportunity to explore this exciting field and gain the technical knowledge and professionalism needed to prepare them for an after-high-school career or post-secondary study.

The solar farm is the result of a collaboration between Albany County, the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the Town of Colonie, Capital Region BOCES and other partners. Construction is expected to be complete later this year.

For more information on business partnerships, visit