Sharon residents will vote on solar power plan for school

SHARON — Open to the possibilities of alternative energy resources, the Board of Selectmen approved signing a contract with CT Green Bank Solar at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 8.

First Selectman Brent Colley reported that the town attorney had reviewed the contract that could see installation of solar panels on town property adjacent to Sharon Center School, a project that would provide for the school’s energy needs. He added that the Board of Education has approved the general concept.

The project will still need approval from other town boards as part of the process, Colley said, adding that the Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing to gather residents’ comments.

“We are signing a contract to recommend it [the project] to other boards and ultimately for decision at a town meeting,” Selectman Dale Jones explained.

Selectman Casey Flanagan said that he had no reservations about the contract.

Doug Rick, representing the Sharon Energy and Environment Commission, suggested that the town consider adding a battery backup system to the project. He said that the installation contractor could accomplish the hook-up of a battery system as part of the installation work.

Unlike residential solar systems, excess energy is not sold back to the energy grid. Rather, all energy generated by the solar panels must be used on site by the school. Sharon Center School is the only entity within the town that would meet the minimum required usage, according to Rick.

Until the voters approve the project and the town issues a building permit, the town is not committed to doing the project, Rick noted.

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