For International Skating Center of Connecticut co-owner Bob Crawford the best part of going solar is reducing the facility’s environmental footprint.
“It’s a commitment to green energy,” Crawford said. “We did it more because of our impact to the environment.”
Crawford acknowledges the center is an energy intensive business and electricity its highest cost.
To help minimize impact and save some money, there is now a 324 kW (324,000 watt) solar array on the roof of
the skating center. This summer, Simsbury company C-TEC Solar has installed the 1,352 panel system, which should be online by the end of
“It’s an exciting project,” said C-TEC president Mickey Toro.
C-TEC said the system is expected to generate between 360,000
to 380,000 kilowatt hours a year, about 40 percent of the center’s usage. The
average home uses between 5,000 to 7,000 kilowatt hours a year.
The project got underway in mid July and the bulk of the installation took about 20 days with three to five guys working at a time, said Josh Ferguson, designer and project manager for C-TEC.
It works much like a residential system would, he added.
The ISCC system would cost about $900,000 out of pocket but owners have opted for a Power purchase Agreement, Toro said. With that arrangement, a third party owns the system and ISCC pays nothing up front but agrees to purchase the output for a given time period.
The owner of the PPA can also take advantage of energy credits and the user often saves money in the process.
There are numerous options for solar systems and financing
and technology has proven reliable, Toro said. Equipment and efficiency have also dramatically improved, he added.
“It really is economically attractive,” Toro said. Anyone who can should really do it. Solar is no longer a mystery.”
And while he acknowledges some are critical of credits and other incentives, he also feels the industry is approaching the point where it could stand completely on its own.
We’re very close,” Toro said.
Learn more about the company and various solar options at http://www.ctecsolar.com.
Connecticut specific solar program information can be found at http://www.ctcleanenergy.com/