Two new solar canopies in the town’s public safety complex in South Sandwich are expected to save the town nearly $20,000 in energy costs annually.
Work on the project began a week ago. Sandwich Deputy Police Chief Jason M. Keene said the canopy structure itself is expected to be completed within the next two weeks. By the end of the year the canopies will be connected and functional, he said.
The system will generate 217,211 kilowatts each year, which will save nearly $20,000 on energy costs. Deputy Chief Keene said the cost to provide electricity to the buildings in the complex is exorbitant.
“This will provide a huge savings,” he said.
The solar canopies will help reduce the town’s carbon footprint by about 154 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, the cooperative said in a press release.
Deputy Chief Keene noted another benefit of having the canopies in the parking lot where officers park their cruisers.
“Being able to park our cruisers under the cover of the canopy will keep snow and ice off them in the winter,” he said.
While the canopies are being constructed, the department is making use of other areas in the complex for parking. Deputy Chief Keene said officers park their personal vehicles in a dirt lot, and the cruisers are currently parked in front of the police station. About six spaces are open for anyone who needs to park to visit the station.
The project is one of several being planned by the Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative in town. Solar canopies are also planned for the parking lots at Sandwich High School, Sandwich Hollows Golf Club, and the rooftops of the Forestdale and Oak Ridge schools.
The cooperative serves as a consultant and broker for energy initiatives such as the ones being planned and built in Sandwich, manager and spokesperson Liz Argo has said. It monitors the contract throughout the project and generally helps facilitate the agreements.
The developer, Distributed Solar Development, will take a percentage of the school’s or municipality’s energy proceeds to earn back its infrastructure investment, Ms. Argo said.