Town Saves On Energy Costs With Solar Panels

Solar panels for the town of Busti offices and highway garage have begun saving the town a significant amount on the buildings’ electric bills. Town Supervisor Jesse Robbins shared figures representing the power savings at Monday’s town board meeting. P-J photo by Eric Zavinski

LAKEWOOD — “It turned out to be a home run.”

That’s how Busti Town Supervisor Jesse Robbins referred to solar panels on top of the town offices and highway garage. Energy-saving measures have also begun to save the town significant costs more than a year after the panels’ installation.

For the Busti Town Supervisor’s building located at 125 Chautauqua Ave., solar power generated a total savings of $248.01 compared to last year’s energy costs for the same time frame from April 6 to May 7.

Compared to last year’s energy costs, savings for the highway garage have come in at $262.41 for Feb. 13 to March 15 and $158.88 for March 15 to April 16.

Comparable savings are projected for the summer months as National Grid continues to buy back power generated. The panels have started to create more energy than the town needs, making for a return on investment that Robbins and his fellow town officials rejoiced at Monday’s Town Board meeting.

Solar panels were installed in February 2018 after Code Enforcement Officer Jeffrey Swanson encouraged the town to apply for a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority grant in 2017. Busti became the first municipality from Western New York that year to receive the $100,000 grant, money of which would later go toward solar energy and the LED streetlight project.

“We have Jeff to thank for this,” said Robbins, who also highlighted productive input from Town Clerk Darlene Nygren and board member Todd Hanson. “In a year’s time, (solar) is going to cut that bill at least 50 percent.”

Robbins also mentioned the panels should last 25 years before repairs or replacements are needed.

“Now we’re saving more,” Robbins said. “We’re doing good.”

In other news, Nygren announced summer hours for the town offices. From June 3 through Labor Day, the town offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Fridays.

Follow Eric Zavinski at twitter.com/EZavinski

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