Earlier today, “06880” reported that tonight the Planning & Zoning Commission would consider a text amendment, special permit and site plan application for “solar-based electric generating facilities” on the Bedford Middle School campus.
Less than 4 hours before the meeting, Public Works director Peter Ratkiewich advised P&Z director Mary Young that the plans — submitted by Greenskies Clean Energy, on behalf of the town — were being withdrawn.
“The Administration has decided not to pursue this project at this time,” Ratkieweich said.
The site plan for Bedford Middle School. The proposed solar panels
The Planning & Zoning Commission usually takes August off.
But before they do, a solar energy project is on the docket. Today (Thursday, July 16, 5 p.m., Zoom meeting) they’ll consider a text amendment, special permit and site plan application for “solar-based electric generating facilities” on the Bedford Middle School campus. They’ll be mounted on the ground (not canopies).
Greenskies Clean Energy has been granted a town lease to produce electricity there. The firm seeks a variance to mount 20-foot solar panels in the grassy area behind the school, and remove 10 trees.
The project includes modules in both corners behind the school.
One section of the site backs up to property on Woody Lane. The other part backs up to High Point Road.
The site plan for Bedford Middle School. The proposed solar panels are indicated by hatch marks near the center of the map. Click on or hover over to enlarge.
The meeting will be livestreamed on http://www.westportct.gov, and shown on Optimum channel 68 and Frontier channel 6020.
A close-up view of the work proposed. Click on or hover over to enlarge.
This morning’s “06880” post involved energy costs. This one does too — specifically, solar.
Solar energy is getting plenty of press. His curiosity piqued, alert “06880” reader Ed Paul signed up with Westport’s Green Task Force. He wanted to learn about installing solar panels at his house.
A company called Astrum provided a proposal. Ed was stunned at the cost: over $51,000 — after rebates and incentives.
Based on his current CL&P bill, the system would save about $3,500 a year. At that rate, it would take over 14 years just to break even.
And, Ed notes, “it seems that solar panels have a limited life span. They start to lose efficiency after 10 or 15 years.”
This Westport home was retrofitted with a 5 kW solar system using 225 watt solar panels. It won an award — but is it cost-efficient? (Photo courtesy of SunPower)
He wonders if his situation is unique. He’d like to hear from other “06880” readers. If you’ve gone solar, did you do it save money? Or was it simply an environmental-based decision?
“I’d love feedback from solar users on their experiences and cost savings,” Ed says.
Click “Comments” to share your thoughts. And — in the spirit of sunshine and openness — please use your full, real names.