Police Department in Cheshire will get carport with solar panels

New Haven Register | Luther Turmelle
August 3, 2018

Town officials have signed an agreement with a Middletown-based company to build a carport big enough to accommodate 40 cars at the town’s Police Department and have solar panels on the roof.

Town Manager Sean Kimball said Friday the deal with Greenskies Renewable Energy will allow the department to save $6,000 annually on its electric bill without having to spend a dime. The carport will be built in back of the department’s headquarters and will encompass the rear and middle lots where officers’ personal cars and department vehicles are kept.

The lot on the south side of the headquarters building, which is located 500 Highland Ave., will not be part of the carport, Kimball said. That part of the parking area is used by members of the public, he said.

Stanley Chin, president and chief executive officer of Greenskies, said his company will build and own the carport. The electricity produced by the solar panels on the roof will be sold back to the town, through what is called a power purchase agreement, according to Chin.

“We will be generating the electricity and will charging the town at a significantly lower rate than they are paying now,” he said.

The project won’t cost the town anything because it is being built under Connecticut’s Zero Emissions Renewable Energy Credit Program. The program requires Eversource Energy and the United Illuminating Co. to procure renewable energy credits under 15-year contracts with owners or developers of renewable energy projects like the one that Greenskies will build in Cheshire.

As a result, Chin said Greenskies will earn $15,000 a year for the life of the contract for the Cheshire project, which is based upon the amount of energy the carport’s solar panels are expected to produce. He said Greenskies has done more than 100 Zero Emissions Renewable Energy Credit projects that are either already built or under construction.

Kimball said all of the energy produced by solar panels will be used to operate the police station.

“It’s a great place for it because the police station is a 24-hour operation,” he said. In addition to the reducing the cost of the department’s electric bill, Kimball said having a cover over police vehicles during snowstorms will save officers who are leaving from the headquarters precious time when responding to emergency calls.

Kimball said the town’s agreement with Greenskies gives community officials the option to purchase the carport at the end of 15 years.