Cos Cobber sends along this link to a Greenwich Time article on “solar energy”
Young skaters maneuvering the puck past a defender may not care about how the electricity is generated at the Stamford Twin Rinks on Hope Street in Stamford, but they should know that it’s helping freeze the ice beneath their feet.
Management of the rinks recently celebrated completion of the $2.4 million project, which involved the installation of a 305.76-kilowatt solar-panel system that will supply about 15 percent of the annual electricity needs of the two rinks, a fitness center, kitchens and offices.
That translates into significant savings, considering that the rinks’ electricity bill averages $25,000 to $30,000 a month, said Mark Zito, general manager of the facility, whose owner is a group of investors headed by Richard Shriner Jr.
The installation of the panels on the 14-year-old structure was done with the assistance of a $1.5 million grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and its On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program, and a 30 percent tax incentive from the federal government.
“”This is one of the largest projects in Fairfield County,” Isban said, noting that installation of the panels took more than 90 days. “Should they produce more energy than they use, the excess will be sold back to CL&P (Connecticut Light & Power) through a process called net metering. They were very smart to do it when they did. It’s sort of like being a pioneer.”
State assistance for future commercial projects is on hold after Gov. M. Jodi Rell recently vetoed a bill that would have continued full-scale funding for the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, he said.
“It would have been a tremendous shot in the arm for the state,” Isban said, adding that the organization continues to receive funding for projects through contributions from Northeast Utilities’ ratepayers.
By my math, $30,000 per month adds up to an annual bill of $360,000 per year. Fifteen per cent of that amounts to $54,000. That could be a significant saving, but it depends on what we taxpayers are contributing in the way of increased rates. Unfortunately, the Greenwich Time reporter didn’t ask what that contribution is, so we readers have no way of knowing whether this is a boondoggle or a saving. My vote is for boondoggle.