BY ANDREAS YILMA
NAUGATUCK — The police station will soon have a solar panel array to help offset electric costs at the department.
The Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved at its June 6 regular meeting a motion to enter into a 20-year solar power purchase agreement with Sunwealth, of Cambridge, Mass., for the financing of ground mount solar array at the Naugatuck Police Station, 211 Spring St.
“This has been part of the ongoing effort by the borough to get green sustainable and to save money long term on your electric costs,” Advanced Energy Efficiencies partner Gary Hale said.
Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said the solar panels would go on a steep parcel of land behind the
Hale said his firm shopped around for the best financing available and the 20-year agreement would be fixed rate of 9.75 cents per kilowatt hours. The borough would not be spending any funds for the project, he added.
“It also involves an electrical infrastructure upgrade at the police department to accept the solar power and also to connect it,” Hale said.
Advanced Energy Efficiencies partner Adam Burkitt said 544 panels would occupy less than half an acre of land. The ground clearance is three feet on the low side of the solar panels, he added.
Hale said the solar panels wouldn’t cover all of the police station’s electrical costs but it would be substantial. The energy produced by the solar panels wouldn’t feed back into the electric grid but would be solely for police.
“This would cover somewhere between 50% and 60% and the savings would occur over 20 years,” Hale said.
Advanced Energy Efficiencies, a Woodbridge-based firm, has consulted and worked with the borough on several green energy projects.
Hale said the goal is to have the work finished by the end of this year but it would depend on some local permitting as they wait to hear from the Zoning Commission to determine which exactly.
“That’s always been our mission with Mayor Pete and the burgesses,” Hale said.
“Save money, get sustainable and no money out of pocket for the borough.”