Voters in the Homer Central School District have rejected a land lease to support a solar panel project that would have provided power to Homer Schools.
Homer voters soundly rejected a 25-year lease that would have supported a private 1.75-megawatt solar panel array at a site in East Homer.
382 votes were cast against the lease with 197 in favor.
The district was considering partnering with a private energy company NextEra who would have built, owned, and operated the panels. The company would have utilized tax credits awarded to the district to offset the cost of the project.
It was projected that the solar energy would have saved the district over $40 thousand dollars a year in electricity costs, over the life of the lease that would amount to $2 million in savings.
Opponents felt the 25-year lease term was too long and energy prices could drop before the contract expires.
Following the vote results, Homer Schools Superintendent Nancy Ruscio said the district will continue to pursue other projects to reduce energy consumption.