Monday, June 1, 2009

Here Comes The Sun, There Goes Our Money

Here's Teaneck's latest dumb idea. The township will install solar panels atop the Rodda Center and Fire Station 3 this fall in an effort to save energy costs and promote conservation.
The town will spend $615,000 to save $9,200 a year. In just 69 years, they'll recoup the investment. What a great idea!
Teaneck can get back its investment faster by selling Solar Renewable Energy Certificates to state public utilities. The town estimates about $30,000 a year in income, but based on the state's data the price of these certificates varies greatly and fluctuates monthly. Last month, some went for as low as $170, which would reduce Teaneck's annual income to less than $13,000 a year.
Even if we use Teaneck's figure of $39,200 in annual income and savings, it would still take about 16 years to get back the initial investment. And that's not counting any annual maintenance or replacement costs.
I've tried to determine the life span of these solar panels, but the best I could find was a very general 15 to 25 years.
Some may argue that about half the money will come from a state grant or federal stimulus funds. So what? That's still taxpayer money and it's still a waste!


tzvee said...

even at at your imaginary 69 years - it's worth it. the question is why just those locations? why not all city buildings? and p.s., by your logic should we disconnect from the grid and start chopping wood and making candles?

Out Of Rightfield said...

From the Record: "It's not just cost savings," said Mayor Kevie Feit. "It's also environmentally friendly."
Sure it's environmentally friendly, although from what I've read, after their useful life, the panels are tough to dispose of in an environmentally friendly way.
Nonetheless, where are these "cost savings" that the Mayor refers to?
I can't see the justification in spending that much money.

Yoni said...

What the article actually says is that the net cost to the Township would be about $250,000 and the town would gain about 39,200 per year in selling energy back to the grid and from lower energy bills. That's a 16% return the 1st year. It's hard to do a present value analysis because it's hard to know how energy prices will change in the future. But even if energy prices remain exactly the same as they are now, the money would be recouped in 6 years, not 16.

Out Of Rightfield said...

That's if you don't count state grants and stimulus funds as taxpayer's money. Which it is.

Anonymous said...

OOR are you ever happy or satisfied?

Anonymous said...

I guess the yeshiva system really does suck if OORF can't do the math, know the issues even involved in this or can't read correctly. Time to leave all the yeshivas if they are producing beings like OORF and their lack of knowing how to learn

Yoni said...

The state grants and stimulus money is there to support green projects. If we don't take the money another town will.

Zev Mo said...

"That's if you don't count state grants and stimulus funds as taxpayer's money. Which it is."

OOR, I understand what you intend to say, but it doesn't make much sense. You want your township taxes to go down, this will do that. Your issue is tax credits are taxes raised, TRUE. But in a very small per person charge, AND it pays for jobs to be created to make the panels, install the panels, and research on improving the panels WHILE reducing the amount of TAXPAYER dollars spent on maintaining and building higher capacity power plants which use items like coal/gas/oil (externalized cost to the TAXPAYER) which have an effect on the environment (which would have to be cleaned by TAXPAYER dollars), or go to profits for corporations that exist overseas or pay ZERO taxes at all.

I think it is a great idea! The only question is, when is the US government going to get as serious about solar panel installation as Germany has? 15% to be 50% by 2050

Anonymous said...


What's your take on Adam Melzer? Sounds like a fine and upstanding citizen, not!

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Anonymous said...

Teaneck should build a power plant at Overpeck.

Like Richfield but better.

Anonymous said...

That's really good short-term thinking! 69 years! - Gee, that's an eternity! you and I will be dead by then (hopefully) - maybe even our children and grandchildren will be dead! So why think about future generations. No, that's stupid. Let's get ours right now - the hell with the future!! I want my money! I want my money!