The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday unanimously approved two contracts that will see solar power systems installed on town buildings in New Canaan for the first time.
If all goes as planned, the new photovoltaic or ‘PV’ systems could be up and running at Town Hall, the Animal Care building at the New Canaan Nature Center, Waveny Pool house and Highway Department garage prior to next winter, officials said at the selectmen’s regular meeting.
“This is our first foray into solar and I am very excited to get this project launched,” First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said at the meeting, held in Town Hall.
Moynihan and Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of a $530,000 contract with Hartford-based Northeast Smart Energy to install the PV systems and with Norwalk-based MHR Development, which drew up the RFP for the work and will help manage the project.
MHR’s principal is Mark Robbins, a former New Canaan resident who attended the meeting. Moynihan noted that Robbins has consulted on solar projects at local schools.
“Mark has been working closely [with the town] to get a more sustainable community,” Moynihan said.
Devereaux asked when the work would be completed.
Bill Oestmann, buildings superintendent with the New Canaan Department of Public Works, said Town Hall is “solar-ready” and would be first—there’s an eight-week lead time once the solar panels are ordered—followed by the Waveny Pool house, before its season starts on Memorial Day weekend, and then the Nature Center’s animal care building and, lastly, the Highway Department, which is getting a new roof this summer.
Everything should be done “before winter of this year,” Oestmann said.
Williams called the approval of the contracts “a great development.”
“I think it’s time we move forward on solar,” he said.