Norway selectmen accept gift to install solar panels on Longley Square kiosk

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The Board of Selectmen has accepted a gift from the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy that will allow for the installation of solar panels on the kiosk at Longley Square.

NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen has accepted $12,500 from the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy to install solar panels on the kiosk on Longley Square.

Scott Vlaun, executive director of CEBE, pointed out that the town first installed an electric vehicle charger in the municipal parking lot behind the kiosk in Longley Square three years ago, and over time, it has seen regular and increasing use.

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“When the Norway board agreed to allow CEBE to install the charger in 2014, it was with the understanding that if the electric usage became a burden to the town, CEBE would install solar panels on the kiosk to cover the electric usage,” Vlaun said.

CEBE “would love to solarize the kiosk so we can generate more power than we’re using,” he said. “The system we want to put in place would generate twice what we’re using now.

“We also want to put a second charger in that lot, because we get situations where someone is charging their car, and a car comes in from out of town and they can’t use it.”

Solar panels would be installed by Garbo-Kane Solar under the supervision of a licensed master electrician, and that CEBE would “gift the entire project to the town of Norway.”

In return, Vlaun said, the town “will agree to allow the chargers to be used for free by the public in perpetuity.”

Selectmen Russell Newcomb and Tom Curtis said they liked the idea of installing solar panels on the kiosk but had an issue with the caveat that it be used for free by the public “in perpetuity.”

“We don’t know how things are going to change in the future,” Curtis said.

“We can amend that part of it,” Vlaun said. “We can add something that says the town will offer it for free until the bill exceeds the money being saved by using the solar panels.”

mdaigle@sunmediagroup.net

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