Energy produced from the [Avenue garage] solar panel will be used to directly power the garage, with any excess energy being pushed into the grid. Joe Gordon of Niles-based Solar Service, which was selected by the village to install the panel, said it is guaranteed to last 25 years. The steel frame that will hold the panel is expected to last 75 years, so officials said they could swap out another solar panel later on at a relatively low price.
“In 25 years, these modules will be producing 80 percent of the energy as it will outside the box tomorrow,” Gordon said.
While the village is spending close to $200,000, the panel is expected to pay for itself after 15 years through electricity cost savings. Poulos said, after 25 years, the panel will have both paid for itself and saved the village an additional $250,000 in energy costs…
The board also approved a deal with the iGo car sharing service and 350 Green, a Los Angeles-based company that installs electric car recharging stations, which will create two solar-powered canopies to recharge vehicles. One will be at in the parking lot of Village Hall, 123 Madison St., and the other will be installed on North Boulevard between Marion Street and Forest Avenue.
Oak Park residents should see these projects by late spring. If you are interested in learning more about energy systems as they relate to transportation, Roosevelt seminars including SUST 320 Sprawl, Transportation, and Planning (offered this spring online) and SUST 310 Energy and Climate Change (also offered this spring online) may be of interest. For more information on these or any other of our courses, please visit our Sustainability Studies website, call 1-877-277-5978 (1-877-APPLY RU) or email applyRU@roosevelt.edu.