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Solar panels on the Guilford fire station are generating enough power that the fire department can share it with the town offices.

Town and Village

Fire department’s solar panels bring in funds for town

GUILFORD—The solar panels on the Guilford Volunteer Fire Department’s fire station are generating so much electricity, the department has more Green Mountain Power credits than they can use, GLC Powersmith Solar’s Dan Ingold said.

Ingold serves as one of the department’s trustees. He appeared at the Dec. 12 regular Selectboard meeting to report on the solar project’s success and to offer the excess credits to the town.

The solar panels on the fire station’s roof, installed about 18 months ago, are “performing better than expected,” Ingold said, and now the department has excess net metering credits with the electric utility — and those credits expire in February.

The fire department has no use for them because “our [electric] bills have basically been zero for about a year,” Ingold said.

In a gesture of appreciation for the townspeople’s support of the fire department, the trustees voted to offer the credits — worth at least $600 — to defray the electric bills at the town offices and both town garages. Residents will benefit, as their tax money pays for the town buildings’ electric bills.

The Selectboard unanimously voted to accept the fire department trustees’ offer, and board members expressed their gratitude.

Ingold told board members he will add the three town buildings to the fire department’s net metering account, and they will get the solar credits on their January and February bills.

Even better, if the solar panels continue to perform as they have, the credits to the town “may happen every year,” Ingold said.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #391 (Wednesday, January 18, 2017). This story appeared on page C1.

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