Killingly greenlights town solar project

KILLINGLY – The Killingly Town Council has voted to authorize the town manager to enter into negotiations with a developer who will install solar panels on town and school buildings.

A total of nine municipal and school building are slated for the panels, including the town hall, the highway department building, library, and high school. The total annual savings will rise from about $170,016 in the first year to $590,502 in the 25th year. The average annual savings will be $352,616.

Over the course of 25 years it adds up to more than $9 million in savings, said Mary Calorio, the town manager.

“If it’s going to save the town money and help the environment. It’s a win for everybody,” said Jason Anderson, the vice chairman of the Killingly Town Council.

Calorio said the town will be applying for zero emission energy credits, also known as ZRECs.

Anderson said he was especially pleased that the project would help reduce Killingly’s carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels.

Greenskies will be the developer and owner of the solar panels, Calorio said.

The project was presented to the council on earlier this week by Titan Energy, a consultant. The council voted to move forward at that meeting.

According to the presentation, Greenskies touts itself as a “leading commercial, industrial, and municipal solar installer” in the United States. The company has installed solar panels in locations in 33 percent of Connecticut towns, including the Walmart in Putnam and the elementary school in Canterbury.

The town of Brooklyn is also exploring solar panel technology for its schools, but no contract has been awarded to a developer.

The proposed contract would entail no capital investment from Killingly. It would be financed entirely by Greenskies. The contract with last for 25-years and include a warranty on the panels. Greenskies would also work with the manufacturers of the roofs of the town and school buildings to ensure the warranty on those structures is maintained, according to the presentation.

The annual savings will be the greatest at Killingly High School, starting out at $80,575 a year. Savings will be the smallest at town hall, shaving off just $746 in electrical costs in the first year.