Why are there not solar panels on the New Town Hall? (1/5/2023)
Installing solar at the site of the new Town Hall was thoroughly evaluated through the design-build process. The Town Hall Building Committee worked with the architects and civil engineers to balance site utilization, energy efficiency, and environmental impacts. Ultimately, that balancing act did not support a solar installation at the new Town Hall. That said, many energy-efficient initiatives were included.
At Barrington’s latitude, the orientation of a solar installation has a significant impact on its efficacy. In general, south-facing installations are best for fixed-base solar projects. In order to avoid wetland buffer impacts and create the least amount of impervious surface, the Town Hall was positioned with the majority of the roof surface facing east and west. The group felt that taxpayer funds would be better spent by investing in solar at a more efficient location than the site of the new Town Hall.
In the fall of 2022, the Select Board formed an Energy Committee to (among other priorities) help identify the best locations for solar installations. The Town has south-facing rooftops, unused fields, and other locations which could be efficient and effective locations for a municipal solar installation.