NORWALK, Conn. — Sunbathers aren’t the only ones who will be soaking up the sun at Norwalk's Calf Pasture Beach this summer.
With the installation of 18 solar panels at the park, the city will be able to harness the power of the sun to help provide energy to its buildings there.
Speaking at the unveiling of the panels on a sunny, humid Wednesday morning, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling said the installation supports Norwalk’s push to use more green energy sources.
“We’re very proud as a city to be taking the lead in moving toward sustainable energy, reducing our carbon footprint, making sure that we do everything we can to protect our planet and to be good inhabitants,” Rilling said.
The announcement came a few months after Rilling’s Energy and Environment Task Force launched a community solar program to encourage residents and businesses to consider solar power.
Direct Energy Solar donated the system to the city as part of the Norwalk Solar Challenge. Crews from the company recently completed the installation of the 4.77 kW system with 18 solar panels.
Aside from their green environmental impact, the panels will help cut the city's energy costs. Rilling estimates the panels will save the city $1,000 a year — and $20,000 to $30,000 over the life of the panels.
Direct Energy officials said the system could power the equivalent of one energy-efficient three-bedroom home for about a year. And a similar system could be installed on a residential roof with the proper adapters, company officials said.
Rilling said he hopes the solar panels are the first of many for the city. “We think that’s a great start, but it's certainly not the end,” he said.
Some residents in Norwalk have already installed their own solar systems, Rilling said. “It’s happening across the city, and we can’t be more pleased,” he said.
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