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!