Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Encon Solar and Westport celebrate opening of Metro-North's first solar transportation hub

USA: Encon Solar is proud to announce that the first electric-vehicle charging station on the Metro-North Rail Line is now officially open for business at Westport's historic Saugatuck train station, culminating three years of town planning and paving the way for similar installations that capitalize on the cost and environmental benefits of solar energy.

State and local officials hailed the new solar transportation hub as a model for the rest of the state at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 1.

"The renovated station is 'green' and on the cutting edge," said Westport First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff. "Solar panels will provide the power for the interior of the station house, platform, and parking lot lighting, and four electric-vehicle charging stations outside." There is room to expand the charging hub to accommodate up to 20 vehicles.

Encon Solar, a division of Stratford-based Encon, installed the 27-kilowatt solar-panel array on the roof of the depot's eastbound terminal. ECI Energy, another Encon division, provided the funding for the project. ECI Energy will maintain the solar array and bill the Town for energy usage -- at a cost expected to be 30 percent less than what it would otherwise pay a traditional utility company.

"We were extremely pleased to be able to make this project work financially. The ECI financing allowed the Town of Westport to see immediate savings without having to pay anything for the solar system installation," said Glenn Cucinell, Solar Division manager at Encon. "It is an honor to work on this exciting project with the Town of Westport, which has shown tremendous leadership by making an ongoing commitment to innovative technology, renewable energy and the environment."

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