Solar Savings at Tarrytown Village Hall?

It's been a year since the solar panels were installed on the roof of Village Hall; how are the energy savings matching up to the projections?

Tarrytown Village Hall saved 125 trees in June.

No, the Mayor and Mike Blau didn't go stop production at a lumber yard. Rather, the 125 trees was on the monthly print-out from the software connected to about one year ago on the roof of our governmental offices.

Prompted by the first anniversary of the solar panel installation, one reader asked Patch how things were going. Were the actual savings on track with the upwards of $10,000 per year promised at the time.

The project of going solar cost the village $125,000. The real total of $264,658, was offset by a state energy grant of $215,868. This $125K also included the $76,210 spent on a similar installation at the Tarrytown Senior Center.

At the time, Mayor Drew Fixell said the cost would be paid off in 5 to 10 years, but now it's looking closer to 5 than 10.

Village Administrator Blau did clarify that though installed in August 2011, the panels weren't fully operational until the end of October that year. So the first month we have to compare pre-solar to post- is November 2010 vs. November 2011.

Interesting to note also, said Blau, is that more heat outside has no impact on the energy generated by the system. So contrary to what you might assume, it's only the sun's intensity that factors in, not the outdoor temperature.

Here are some comparison electric bills from Village Hall:


Pre-Solar Panels


Post-Solar Panels


Nov. 2010


Nov. 2011



Feb. 2011


Feb. 2012



June 2011


June 2012



Then there's the print out from the system this June which shows how it performed and how much the building contributed to offsetting the global carbon footprint in this link here

Peak Power and Energy Produced for the Month of June 2012: 


Peak Power

Energy Produced

w/o June 1 – June 7

40.5 kW

1.56 MWh

w/o June 8 – June 14

38.2 kW

1.38 MWh

w/o June 15 – June 21

40.1 kW

1.81 MWh

w/o June 22 – June 28

40.3 kW

1.77 MWh

w/o June 29 – June 30

36.0 kW

542 kWh


June's Total:

7.06 MWh


Previous Month's:

6.05 MWh


Year to Date:

31.7 MWh

Lastly, comes the trees. The print out concludes with: "Carbon offset for month, 4.88 tons, the equivalent of 125 trees."

Good news, surely, but you also have to appreciate the savings. At this rate, the system (both Village Hall and the Senior Center) will be paid for in 6.8 years.

Now achieving this in your home might be a different matter: while costs overall will be lower, getting such a grant will be more challenging.

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Have a Village-related question you'd like to see answered? Let me know in the comments.

DeeplyConcernedabout T-town August 03, 2012 at 10:00 AM
The "savings" can pay for the new highway foreman, his salary & his commute from Beacon, if he shows up!
Bruce Buckley August 03, 2012 at 03:38 PM
How about an analysis of the economics of Tarrytown's recycling program. Aside from the obvious environmental benefits, do recycled product sales contribute a net profit (or loss) for the village?
Krista Madsen (Editor) August 03, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Good question, I'll look into it.


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