Halfmoon, New York, converted its town hall to solar energy in 1976 (during the energy crisis), and it made national news when Harry Reasoner reported on it for CBS’s 60 Minutes. “Solar Town, U.S.A.” was used by at least 1977 and was put on city signs.
Energy costs decreased in the 1980s and Halfmoon’s town hall was converted to conventional energy sources. In 2014, Halfmoon received a state grant to use solar energy once again.
Wikipedia: Halfmoon, New York
Halfmoon is a town in Saratoga County, New York, United States. The population was 21,535 at the 2010 census. The town is named for the crescent shape of the land between the Hudson River and Mohawk River.
Halfmoon is in the southeast part of the county and is north of Albany.
Google News Archive
29 March 1977, Schenectady (NY) Gazette, editorial, pg. 24, col. 1:
Solar Town, U.S.A.
The Town of Halfmoon in the last few years has established itself as Solar Town, U.S.A. As early as 1973 the Advance Cooler Manufacturing Corp., a trendsetter in solar energy construction, built the first solar-operated commercial building there.
Old Fulton NY Post Cards
30 July 1998, Milbrook (NY) Round Table, pg. A17, col. 5:
Elmer E. Smith, 78
CLINTON CORNERS—Elmer E. Smith, 78, a resident of Indian Lake, with a family in Clinton Corners, died July 24, 1998 at his home.
He owned and operated architecture and professional engineering firms in Seaford, Round Lake and Indian Lake before retiring. He designed the first solar town hall in Halfmoon, and also owned and operated Sandy Beach Camps in Indian Lake.
Google News Archive
30 December 2001, The Sunday Gazette (Schenectady, NY), “Halfmoon retiree honored for service” by Elysia Nest, Focus, pg. 4, col. 4:
She (Marie Tollisen—ed.) also recalls when the first highway garage was built in 1974 for about $125,000. Shortly afterward, the new solar Town Hall was constructed on Route 236.
it was a great day for the tow, she said, when “60 Minutes” with Harry Reasoner came to Halfmoon for a national story on the breakthrough facility. Since then the solar Town Hall has been converted back into a building with a standard heating plant as heating fuel costs dropped since the 1970s.
The Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY)
State grant to help return Halfmoon to its solar roots
By Mark McGuire October 23, 2014
It’s been a long time since anyone casually referred to Halfmoon as Solartown USA, a moniker that sounds as archaic in construction as the reason the town got the name in the first place.
In October 1978, Halfmoon opened the first solar-powered town hall in the United States. Harry Reasoner of “60 Minutes” came to do a story on the building, which garnered widespread attention during the days of the gas crisis. Highway signs ...
Troy (NY) Record
Clifton Park and Halfmoon win grants for solar power
By GLENN GRIFFITH, , @CNWeekly on Twitter
POSTED: 01/06/15, 9:43 AM EST | UPDATED: ON 01/06/2015
This was the town of Halfmoon’s most recent foray into generating utility cost savings through the use of sun power. In 1976 it made national news and was declared Solar Town USA for using solar panels to generate all the electricity needed for the town hall. Over the years the name was discarded as the town reverted back to purchasing its power.
Halfmoon Supervisor Kevin Tollisen announced the successful grant application last month. The solar panels are expected to save the town $170,000 in utility costs the first year and more than $4.5 million over the life of the 20 year contract.
Your Clifton Park
Roofless solar to provide Capital Region homes with cheaper, greener energy
POSTED BY: CKUZMICH APRIL 27, 2016
By Cady Kuzmich
“Fifty years ago Halfmoon had the first solar town hall. Fifty years later, as we stand here today, Halfmoon is proud to be a partner [in this project,]” said Halfmoon Town Supervisor Kevin Tollisen, referring to the history behind the town’s decades-long nickname, “Solar Town, USA.” He added, “People need to take this and run with it because this is our future.”
Nicknames of Other Places • New York State • Wednesday, April 27, 2016 • Permalink