Collier Township will soon be home to one of the largest municipal solar arrays in western Pennsylvania.
The Board of Commissioners approved plans at its Oct. 10 meeting to install solar panels on the roof of the public works building next month. Township Manager Sal Sirabella says the building is in need of a new roof and solar just made sense.
"The state tax credits are expiring on Dec. 31, so the door is going to close for the time being next year,” Sirabella said. “We have to flip a switch by (then) to get the tax credits on the business side."
Scalo Solar Solutions of Pittsburgh will install 110 modules that capture energy from the sun and generate electricity to be used by the facility.
"They pay for the roof and put in the installation,” Sirabella said. “Then in seven years we will purchase back the roof. The commissioners will put money in a fund each of those years to pay for the roof and the savings in electricity from the solar output will more than cover the cost."
The system is estimated to reduce carbon dioxide gas emissions by more than 1 million pounds and will generate a net-savings of approximately $75,000 for Collier Township on energy costs.
Installation will begin in November and be complete by the end of December.
Also during the meeting…
Township Commissioners also approved a new five-year contract with Allied Waste because the current contract with Waste Management runs out at the end of the year.
The township received three bids and manager Sal Sirabella said the bidding process helped bring in a competitively low price and affordable deal that will enable Collier Township to continue to provide trash pickup at no charge to residents.
The new deal starts Jan. 1 and also provides more opportunities for residents to recycle. Sirabells says Allied will distribute 32-gallon recycling bins to residents and will collect them twice a month. The bins will be large enough to accommodate cardboard, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, glass and plastic.