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Solar panels to be installed atop nine public buildings in Manchester

  • Dec 15, 2020 2:51 pm GMT
  • 170 views
Source: 
Hartford Courant

Solar panels are to be installed on nine public buildings in Manchester, saving the town a projected $150,000 a year in power costs.

The photovoltaic panels will go atop the public works building, the water and sewer building and seven schools. The systems are expected to be operating next year.

The board of directors recently authorized General Manager Scott Shanley to launch an agreement with Connecticut Green Bank, which is responsible for installing, operating and maintaining the solar equipment.

The town will host the solar panels and buy electricity from the Green Bank, a quasi-public agency created by the state legislature in 2011. The Green Bank in turn gets tax credits and income from the sale of electricity to Eversource.

The town expects an average 31 percent discount on the regular utility rate, amounting to a savings of about $3 million over the 20-year agreement, Deputy General Manager Steve Stephanou said. There is no capital cost to taxpayers, Public Works Director Tim Bockus said.

“Moreover, the environmental benefits of utilizing solar energy versus fossil fuel sources that power the traditional grid will reduce the town’s carbon footprint and align with the Manchester’s green energy and sustainability priorities,” Stephanou and Bockus wrote in a memo to the board.

The environmental benefits over the 20-year agreement, according to the Green Bank, include an estimated reduction of 1,314 tons in CO2 emissions - the equivalent of 19,708 tree seedlings grown for 10 years or 257 passenger vehicles driven for one year or 2,957,548 miles.

The panels atop each building will supply power to that building. The buildings will remain connected to the electrical grid. Besides the public works and water and sewer buildings, solar panels are to be installed atop Bennet Academy, Highland Park Elementary School, Manchester High School, Manchester Regional Academy, Martin Elementary School, Verplanck Elementary School and Waddell Elementary School.

A “green bank,” according to www.ctgreenbank.com, is “an entity that accelerates the deployment of clean energy using limited public dollars to attract private capital investment in clean energy projects. In doing so, it makes clean energy more affordable and accessible to consumers.”

Since its inception, a description on the site says, the Connecticut Green Bank and its private investment partners have deployed over $1.9 billion in capital for clean energy projects across the state.

Jesse Leavenworth can be reached at jleavenworth@courant.com

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(c)2020 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)

Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at www.courant.com

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