On Tuesday, there was a ribbon cutting for the brand-new solar panels that will supply 30% of the energy needed to run the waste water plant on Commerce Road.
The solar panels look like a solid reflective river that stretches into the distance, and the silent energy they are producing is almost palpable. The panels are on a single axis rotation, and follow the sun east to west each day, 365 days a year, even in cloudy weather.
The panels run on about 100 kilwatts of self generated energy. Over the course of a year, the waste water treatment plant uses 587,520 kwh. These panels will now provide 134,520 kwh of free energy to the plant.
According to Robert Tait, the town’s finance director, the cost of the panels were roughly $500,000. A Grant funded $325,000, and an additional $175,000 came from the sewer fund. The amount of money that will be saved on electricity costs will pay for the panels within 10 years.
While there is a small set of on the roof of the Reed school roof, and more are being considered for the middle school, Julio Segarra of the Waste Water Treatment Plant said this set is the largest group of panels in Newtown.
Be sure to check back on Monday for a full tour of the Waste Water Treatment Plant.