Fire Department Set to Embrace Solar Power

Posted on 22 December 2010


By Kathryn G. Menu

Sag Harbor Village has moved one step closer towards reaping the benefits of an economic stimulus bill passed by Congress last spring. That step came earlier this month when the board of trustees agreed to hire an engineer to come up with plans for the installation of solar panels on the roof of the Sag Harbor Village Volunteer Fire Department.

On December 14, the village board hired engineer Drew Bennett of East Hampton to draw up plans for electrical contractors to bid on that would upgrade the fire department’s electrical and heating systems. That upgrade includes funding for the installation of solar panels to offset the cost of energy use for village residents.

According to village administrator Beth Kamper, the project start date will be announced after Bennett reviews the facility and the project is awarded. Kamper added the project must be completed by 2012, according to the grant’s guidelines.

Sag Harbor Village was awarded the stimulus monies last March. Two grants totaling $84,372 from the New York Start Energy Research and Development Authority as a part of the federally funded American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will allow the village to install a 10.2 kilowatt solar electric system on the roof of its Brick Kiln Road fire department headquarters. That cost will total $63,730 of the grant monies.

The grant also allows the village to install lighting controls, programmable thermostats, and upgrades to its windows and heating and air conditioning systems at the nine village buildings, including the municipal building. That funding is for $20,642.

According to recently re-elected Congressman Tim Bishop’s office, the solar panels and electric upgrades will save Sag Harbor over $7,500 in energy costs annually, also lowering the village’s overall energy consumption.

“I’d like to thank Tim Bishop for his support to the village regarding our grant for a Solar Energy Project at Fire Headquarters,” said Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride. “The grant will enable the village to implement our largest greening project to date.”

According to Kamper an official construction start date is expected to be announced later this winter.

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