The residents of Essex Meadows in Connecticut are making a bold ‘green’ statement by planning on installing solar panels in their facility to offset the costs of rising energy besides being a environmentally friendly retirement community. Essex Meadows’ list of environmental amenities includes geothermal heating and cooling, native-plant meadows instead of lawns, and an environmental committee of residents whose goal is to implement the principles of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) by promoting energy-saving light bulbs, water conservation and a host of other environmentally friendly practices. The community’s latest green project is the installation of a solar energy system. Designed and installed by Gloria Spire Solar of Bedford, Mass., the system’s 616 solar panels will cover approximately 9,000 square feet of roof space and will generate 128,282 kWh (kilowatt hours) each year.The new solar system will offset up to 6 percent of the community’s power needs and will supplant the generation of 99 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year–equivalent to the green house gases removed by 20 acres of forest. The group states that it should pay for itself in approximately eight years and will save Essex Meadows nearly $1 million in electrical costs over its 30-year life span. The system was made possible, in part, by a $459,719 grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. For more information, click here.
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