BRISTOL - The Bristol Boys & Girls Club installed 444 solar panels on the roof of its Family Center last November and is using the energy savings to not only pay down the project but generate funding for future programs.
Michael Suchopar, president and CEO of the Bristol Boys & Girls Club, said the solar panels, installed by Green Earth Energy, were chosen for the maximum utilization of space and maximum return of energy.
“There were no upfront costs and the agreement with Green Earth Energy is that for the first 10 years we will pay the same energy rates in order to pay down the project,” said Suchopar. “In the 11th year and onward, they have estimated that we will be seeing between $30,000 and $65,000 a year in energy savings. This is money that we will no longer have to use to cover our overhead, which can be used to enhance Boys & Girls Club programs.”
The Tale Sun Solar panels have produced 58,034 kilowatt hours since their installation.
“That is equivalent to 2,418 electric cars charged, 10,736,290 smart phones charged, 2 days of powering a search engine data center and 1,727 nights of powering the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center,” said Suchopar. “It also represents 35 CO2 tons of emissions avoided and 5,124 gallons of gasoline offset.”
Suchopar said it is part of the Boys & Girls Club’s mission to not only be environmentally conscious themselves but to teach children to be as well.
“We want to teach kids to take care of the earth that we all live on and to be aware of the environment,” said Suchopar. “By doing so, we can enhance the quality of the world we are living in and make it as good a place as we can.”
Suchopar said that as part of their efforts to teach children about environmentalism, they invited Covanta to the club last fall to teach children about the benefits of recycling and the different types of energy that it can produce.
The Bristol Boys & Girls Club Family Center is located at 255 West Street. For more information, call 860-583-4734 or visit bbgc.com.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.