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Fairfield Sportsplex Soaks Up The Sun And Saves

Local dignitaries cut the ribbon on a new solar panel system at the Sportsplex on Mill Plain Road.
Local dignitaries cut the ribbon on a new solar panel system at the Sportsplex on Mill Plain Road. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
The 200 kilowatt solar array located at Fischel Sportsplex in Fairfield.
The 200 kilowatt solar array located at Fischel Sportsplex in Fairfield. Photo Credit: Contributed photo

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Town leaders were on hand as Fischel Properties Inc. unveiled an array of new solar panels installed on the roof of the Mill Plain Road Sportsplex in Fairfield this week, a move that will offset 235,000 kilowatt hours of usage every year and save the company $600,000 over the life of the system.

Davis Hill Development, a clean energy portfolio solutions company, developed the 200 kW array that was financed through Connecticut Green Bank.

“We are regularly evaluating our properties and projects to figure out how we can reduce our carbon footprint,” said Deanna Spartachino, Fischel’s vice president. “By working with Green Bank and Davis Hill Development on the Sportsplex solar panel project, we were able to achieve that affordably.”

In an effort to create a greener property, the company also upgraded to LED exterior lighting recently, she said.

The 648 panels extend over five rooftop areas at the large Sportsplex, home to an ice rink, crossfit, yoga, gymnastics and other fitness spaces. The array provides about 20 percent of the complex’s electricity needs, said Spencer Monson, an associate with Davis Hill.

The project is the first major effort in Fairfield to take advantage of the Green Bank’s C-PACE program, which stands for commercial property assessed clean energy, said Robert Wall, associate director of outreach for Connecticut Green Bank. The program allows those interested in adding solar panels or other clean energy solutions to their homes or businesses to pay for the upgrades through an assessment in their property taxes, he said.

The endeavor also included a low-cost solar equipment lease, said Bryan Garcia, president and CEO of Connecticut Green Bank.

With interest in solar energy on the rise, Monson said Davis Hill has completed several projects in town, including arrays for the Operation Hope shelter, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield Theatre Company, the Fire Department on Reef Road and the animal shelter.

“On the downside, we’re starting to run out of rooftops,” First Selectman Michael Tetreau joked at the ribbon-cutting for the Sportsplex array.

Residents who are interested in saving money and going green can learn more by attending the next Solarize Fairfield workshop at the library on April 28 at 7 p.m.

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