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Mission of the York Energy Efficiency Committee

Our mission is to respond to the global warming crisis by promoting energy efficiency, alternative energy, and environmental initiatives throughout the town of York, Maine.

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[Source: The US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)]

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Solar panels coming to Eliot DPW

The following is excerpted from a Seacoastonline article by Roger Wood, dated April 4, 2013.

ELIOT, Maine — In the next several weeks, 160 electricity-producing solar panels should be arriving at the town’s Department of Public Works garage off Route 236.

When installed on the roof of the building, the panels should produce some 42,000 kilowatts of power during sunny days.

The town’s Energy Committee said the panels, manufactured by Maine-based ReVision Energy, will be installed free of charge on the reinforced roof, and maintained by the company for six years. In return, the town will pay ReVision 2 cents per kilowatt hour below Central Maine Power Company’s rate, approved by the Public Utilities Commission. Under the approved plan, the company will lease the roof for $1 a year.

Tuesday night, two members of the committee, Ben Brickett and Charlie Case, held an information session on the project at Town Hall for interested residents.

Brickett and Case told the group they had selected ReVision over Barrington, N.H.-based Seacoast Energy, which they said proposed a higher cost basis for the solar-generated power. Brickett pointed out that, over the 40-year expected lifespan of the system, the town could save $140,000 based on current CMP rates.

After six years, he said, the town will have an option to purchase and maintain the system at a cost of $40,000, spread over the expected system longevity of several decades.

Right now, the solar array will generate enough electricity to power the town garage and the adjacent transfer station. Excess electricity not needed for the buildings could be sold to CMP as a preferred pollution-free energy source.

Resident Andy Dudek quizzed Brickett and Case about the viability of a solar power system in New England, as opposed to systems installed in Southern California, which gets more sun.

Brickett responded that the generating capability and cost savings are already factored into the harsher weather conditions in Maine. He also pointed out that ReVision has installed some 3,000 systems, including at the City of South Portland planning office, the wastewater treatment plant in Thomaston, Oakhurst Dairy, and Proctor Academy and the Durham Boat Company in New Hampshire.

Case and Brickett also presented their vision for a Phase two project, to be considered two or three years from now. If implemented, it would be located at the capped landfill site near the transfer station, with some 1,000 solar panels mounted on the ground.

Brickett said that the array could generate enough power for all municipal buildings in town based on reduced energy use. He called the location “a good solar site. It’s town land that can’t be used for anything else.”

Case said the committee is working with town officials on energy efficiency programs to realize the cost savings. He also pointed out that the schools are large users of power, and that they plan “to start a dialogue with the schools” to reduce their electricity consumption.

Read the rest of the article.

In York, YEEC chair Eric Hopkins is trying to organize a similar effort to get a solar array installed on the York Middle School roof. If you would like to help in any way, please contact Eric via email at eric_hopkins[at]

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