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August 27, 2007


Windpower from where?

Any idea where this windpower is being bought from? Where's the nearest windfarm to Somerville?

Great Idea

I can't offer much in the way of help, but I think its a great idea and I applaud your efforts to improve the city.



How are all the solar panels they installed on the buildings in Porter Sq doing in terms of maintenance cost and electricity output? Where could I find that information?


I find it hard to believe that the payback time for PV panels is 20-25 years, especially in light of recent advances and ongoing cost reductions in manufacture. Does that include the entire installed cost of a system (storage batteries, panels, net-metering equipment, inverters, etc.)

Studies I have done for the house here show, at most, a 10 year payback. That, however, includes incentives in the current tax laws which the City may not be able to take advantage of.

I have recently begun installing white LED lamps for selected applications (driveway lights, hallways, etc.). The driveway lights use about 8 watts each and yield an amount of light equivalent to a 90 watt halogen or a 19 watt CFL. I estimate the cost of these lights--assuming 8 hours a day of operation--to be recoverable in about 2-1/2 years.

Has there ever been a cost/benefit study done to use solar hot water heating and storage for the High School?

Also, are vehicles such as the Ford Escape Hybrid being considered as possible replacements for the aging S-10 Blazers that Mike bought back in the early 90s? They would be similar in both size and function (there is a 4WD version available) and get mileage in the high 20s to low 30s around town.

Just wondering.



Thanks, I was considering installing some solar panels on my roof, but decided to wait a little longer since I hear that there is a lot of progress in the efficiency of the latest cells. Still, the last time I checked, it was quite expensive (just the installation and the items, not even including the maintenance).
I bough a number of LED bulbs too. I got the brightest I could find (paid around $35 each). They do consume very little energy and they don't heat up at all, but they are kind of dim for interiors.

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