VERNON, NY – The Town of Vernon is betting the sun will be back by having solar panels installed on Town Hall next week.
The green power project has been in the works since Town Supervisor Myron Thurston first met with Solar Liberty of Buffalo in 2008.
The company estimates the solar panels will provide 75 to 80 percent of the electrical needs of the building.
With the gloomy overcast skies and rain that has passed for summer this year, the solar panels, guaranteed not to leak for 18 months, are still worth the effort according to Thurston.
“We’ll produce more on good days and that extra will go back into the grid,” said Thurston. “Then when we need it, it will come back to us. We should actually be able to see the meter move in reverse.”
After grants of $133,000 from New York State Energy Research ad Development Authority, $10,000 Rural Development grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the town will kick in $15,000 as its share of the project.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime deal,” said Thurston. “It wasn’t hard for me to make up my mind but there was some convincing of the board.”
The City of Rome and the Town of Verona are also looking at solar panels.
“We have a different situation than Vernon,” said Owen Waller, Town of Verona supervisor.
“Our whole building is electric, so we need a lot more panels,” he noted.
He said the town is just in the beginning stage of the project, and has recently looked at proposals from Solar Liberty, as well.
“If it rains on Monday, they’ll start on Tuesday. The panels are going in next week,” said Thurston.
The Oneida Daily Dispatch
By JODY McNICHOL
Dispatch Staff Writer