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Weston Puts Solar Energy on the Table

For just $1, Weston has been given the opportunity to have solar panels put on its municipal buildings. The $1 cost is to lease the panels for five years, at which time the town can buy the panels for another dollar.

"The first thing I said was, 'Find the catch,' and there really isn't a catch," said Gayle Weinstein, first selectwoman.

At a meeting of the Board of Selectmen on Thursday, Don Gary of the building committee presented a proposal from DCS Energy to put solar panels on the roofs of municipal buildings. The benefit for DCS Energy would be a one-time tax credit and grant as well as renewable energy credit, which lasts as long as the equipment is used.

The panels could generate a potential 154,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per year. This would be a savings of more than $21,000 to the town, Gary said. The panels have a 20-year useful life.

Before making a decision, a structural engineer must check the roof of each building to make sure it can hold the weight of the panels, Weinstein said. The cost for that service has yet to be determined. The town is receiving bids for the project. Weinstein said she will make sure the project won't void any warrantees the town has for its roofs.

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