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State Senator

John Fonfara

Deputy Majority Leader

Representing Hartford & Wethersfield

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Contact: Dave Steuber
860-240-8616

March 6, 2012

Fonfara Cuts Ribbon for Solar Thermal System in Hartford

60 panel installation at Laurel Place Apartments supported by CEFIA, a creation of last year’s energy reform legislation

Today Senator John Fonfara (D-Hartford) participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Laurel Place Apartments in Hartford, dedicating one of the largest single-system solar thermal installations in all of Connecticut.

The new system will offset almost 70 percent of the domestic hot water needs at the 78-unit apartment building, while reducing the complex’s dependence on fossil fuels and providing long-term cost stabilization on water heating expenses.

“This solar thermal system will help Laurel Place Apartments save on their energy expenses for many years into the future. This past year we created a full time energy department and a full time energy financing authority, CEFIA. We are now seeing the product of our efforts. This project is but the first of many initiatives to make Connecticut energy independent and to begin building an energy-based economy,” said Senator Fonfara.

“We feel that if everyone does their small part to help the environment, together we can make a big difference. We are thankful for the programs political leaders have put in place to help people like us install this kind of technology, and for companies like C-TEC Solar,” said Vera Mladen, Owner of Laurel Place Apartments.

The state Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority (CEFIA), allocated $170,000 of Federal American Reinvestment & Recovery Act (ARRA) funding to Laurel Place Apartments in support of their solar thermal system design and installation. CEFIA was created by the major energy reform legislation written by Senator Fonfara last year.

The 60 panel system at Laurel Place was designed and installed by C-TEC Solar of Simsbury, Connecticut. It is estimated that with government assistance, the payback period on Laurel Place’s investment will be approximately three years.

Solar thermal technology differs from solar photovoltaic technology which is used to generate electricity. The technicians of C-TEC Solar estimated that on the day of the ribbon cutting, the 60 panel solar thermal installation at Laurel Place would generate 1.4 MBtu of energy (equivalent 420 kilowatts). It would take approximately 460 solar photovoltaic panels to produce the same amount of energy.

“We design, install and monitor both PV and Solar Thermal Systems throughout the northeast. People are now starting to see the benefits of solar thermal technology. It costs about one-third less than a Photovoltaic (PV) electric system and uses around 65 percent less energy than traditional hot water heating systems. And, with Federal and State tax rebates and incentives, it can pay for itself in as little as three years,” said Mickey Toro, Founder of C-TEC Solar.

 

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Dave Steuber
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