Russell's Solar Panel Project Nears Completion

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Russell Town Supervisor Bob Best says converting to solar energy to power a handful of town-owned buildings is a green initiative that not only will give the town a stable energy cost, but will eventually save taxpayers money in the long run.
 
"The whole system, over the course of 30 years, will produce a quarter of a million dollars worth of power at today's prices," said Best.
 
One by one, workers are installing 144 solar panel sections on a dozen pedestals that will turn sunlight into 34 kilowatts of electricity that will be used to power the building that houses the town's library and museum as well as the highway barn.

A separate roof-mounted system has also been installed on the Russell Health Clinic building that will generate an additional 5 kilowatts.
 
"Each pedestal has 12 panels. The panels are 240 watt panels. They produce roughly 30 to 37 volts apiece," said Joseph Whitcomb, a contractor.
 
The $150,000 project is using a state grant but will still cost the town about $95,000 - money the town has borrowed through a bond note.

The town is also cutting some of its costs by using highway workers to assist in the installation.
 
Town officials say it will take about 15 years before taxpayers will start to realize the savings from the solar project.
 
The solar power project should be fully operational by the end of December.

Sunday, December 21, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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