Hempstead lets the sunshine in

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“Using solar energy benefits both the environment and residents,” he said. “This technology allows the town to use a clean, renewable energy source to generate power while lowering its utility costs and saving taxpayer dollars.”

Town Councilwoman Angie Cullin, Councilman Gary Hudes and Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin also attended the ceremony. Town officials explained how each system works — and how the town will benefit from them.

The 11-kilowatt solar canopy at Newbridge Road Park was constructed over several months. Murray said that it allows sun to filter through to the undersides of the solar panels, which absorb reflected light, in addition to the photovoltaic cells that face the sky. The panels are called bi-facial solar panels, she said. The system will help power facilities at the south Bellmore park.

To help meet the Merrick Senior Center’s energy needs, conventional, stationary, mounted photovoltaic panels were recently installed on the roof. The panels, which were activated on Aug. 24, furnish 11 kilowatts of energy.

The solar trackers at Seamans Neck Park include three units that pivot and follow the sun’s path to maximize solar intake, officials said. The system provides energy to offices and a garage. The pivoting, or tracking, feature results in a 40 percent gain in energy output over traditional solar panels, Murray said, making the 11-kilowatt system comparable in output to a 15-kilowatt stationary mounted solar panel system.

Including the Roosevelt project, the effective power rating of the four new systems totals almost 90 kilowatts — enough energy to power nine homes. Noting the variety of the facilities at which the systems were installed, Hudes said that the initiatives have allowed officials to serve constituents in a more environmentally friendly way.

“Parks throughout our town, a local senior center and a highway yard are all demonstrating that government can do its job while being kind to our planet,” Hudes said.

Murray added that the projects would reduce the town’s annual energy costs by $50,000. But, while green initiatives are good for taxpayers’ wallets, they are done primarily for the good of the planet, she explained.

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