New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

Feature News

Five Buildings Get over 3,600 Solar Panels


A crowd of about 75 people went to Marian Heights Tuesday to celebrate five Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Concepcion (DMIC) buildings going solar.

A total of 3,668 solar panels were installed on three fields giving power to St. Lucian’s Residence, Prudence Crandall, Monsignor Bojnowski, Hospital for Special Care Education and Marian Heights.

Mother Jennifer told the crowd that “many hands make light work”.

“In this case it was many dedicated people who assisted us in completing this project of solar power,” she said.

She thanked and presented awards to several people including Eversource employees, Jeffrey Plocharczyk, Bryan Garcia President and CEO of Green Bank, John O’Brien and Pat Early from EcoSolar, McBride Electric, Bill Melillo, Karen Casey from Cooney, Scully and Dowling and Karen Kulak, project manager.

Eversource sponsored the zero emission renewable energy program for the project. Green Bank secured funding for the project.

“Without their dedicated work in securing the funding, we would not have been able to move ahead with this project,” said Mother Jennifer.

“In the next few years the emission of carbon dioxides and other gases can be drastically reduced,” said Garcia. “This solar project in partnership with Eco Solar and Eversource Energy required nearly $2.8 million in investment. It will save the DMIC approximately $1.3 million over the next 20 years.”

He said this project adds value to the City and State as Connecticut has some of the highest energy costs in the country.

“It hits our low and moderate communities particularly hard. Often forcing residents to make hard choices between paying for food, medicine, clothing and other basic needs,” said Garcia. “The Hospital for Special Care, a rehabilitation and long term acute care unit, will be able to lower its operating costs as a result of this project.”

In 2017, 3,500 projects with over $80 million of investments for families of low to moderate income took place through Green Bank.

“Every project has someone who is always there when you need help,” said Mother Jennifer. “It is thanks to Karen Kulak that we learned about Eversource ZREC program. We thank Karen for her guidance, inspiration and unwavering commitment to this solar project.”

“Mother Jennifer said “Karen we need money and you need to help us a find way for saving”,” said Kulak. “I did a little investigation. I told her okay Mother lets go. She has been with me all the way and is the driver of this dream. She deserves a lot of credit for this one.”

Among those in attendance for the celebration were State Rep. Peter Tercyak and Rick Lopes.

The panels were installed with five and seven foot screws, drilled into the ground which can withstand over 110 MPH winds.

Each panel was 320W with a total of 1,174 MW DC. It is expected to produce 1,478,321 kWh annually. About 276,515 kWh have been produced since the project in July, saving $50,710.