ST. GEORGE – On April 9, the town of St. George and members of the Select Board, Conservation Commission and members of the public, including students from St. George's fourth and seventh grade, gathered at the transfer station to throw the switch on the town's new solar energy system.
Town Manager Tim Polky said the system will help power the town’s municipal buildings and save the town thousands of dollars, for at least 30 years. The life of the array is estimated at 30 to 40 years and is rated at 67.5 kilowatts.
The system is to reduce the town's carbon foot print by 40 tons of CO2 per year, according to St. George.
Jonathan Coggeshall of the St. George Conservation Commission said the town has been interested in conservation for many years.
"Many of our members have taken tours of self sufficient homes that are producing their own power," he said. "We started working with three different contractors looking at different type of payments, funding and operation of the system."
Coggeshall said that ReVision Energy will own and get the tax credits and depreciation of the solar system for six years. At that time the town can purchase the solar array.
The solar array consists of 225 panels. The transfer station roof will supply an estimated 90 percent of the town's electrical power. ReVision Energy installed the power system for free and will sell the town power it generates at a reduced cost.
Richard Bates, head of the St. George Select Board, said he was proud of the work of the Conservation Commission.
"What is quite neat about having the panels here at the transfer station is the symmetry of what's going on above the roof and beneath the roof," he said. "You have the panels above the roof and recycling going on beneath. The commonality is that both are good for the environment, and both save the town money."