Cheshire police solar carport in the works

Republican-American | Ajhani Ayres
August 1, 2018

Forty parking spaces behind the Cheshire Police Department will soon be covered with a solar carport that will protect vehicles from the weather while saving energy.

The Town Council approved a solar power and service agreement between Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC, and the town for the installation of the solar carport. According to Town Engineer Walter Gancarz, the company will build the port behind the police station, which Police Chief Neil Dryfe said was the best location for the project.

“The Greenskies proposal provides the maximum benefit to the CPD with regards to the number and type of parking spaces that will be covered,” Dryfe said in a memorandum, adding that the majority of the spaces are used for town-owned vehicles or employee parking.

At the July 19 meeting when council approved the agreement, Chairman Robert Oris asked about the vetting process used resulting in the choice of Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC.

Drfye said the competing firm’s proposal “only offered 20 covered parking spaces, eight of which are the visitor spaces on the south side of the building.”

In May, Gancarz wrote to Town Manager Sean M. Kimball that the town has already secured Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credit (ZREC) credits through a program Eversource offers for the project, which would be assigned to Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC.

It’s expected the ZREC credits will provide almost $15,000 per year for 15 years toward the cost of the project.

The carport will be built no cost to the town and generate electrical savings expected to be more than $6,000 per year over the 20-year life of the project.

Dryfe said the carport “will allow us to park police vehicles and trailers under the carport, giving some protection from the elements. It will also allow covered parking for some personal vehicles so officers arriving to work in rain or snow will have at least some protection from the elements.”

Information on the price of the project, which is free to the town, or when construction will begin was not available.