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Hempstead Town adds solar power to four more facilities

Hempstead Town unveils four new solar-powered town facilities in Seaman's Neck Park, the Merrick Senior Center, Newbridge Road Park at the town yard on Roosevelt. Videojournalist: Chuck Fadely (Aug. 26, 2013)

Hempstead officials on Monday announced that four town facilities have been converted to partial solar-powered energy systems.

The facilities are spread throughout the town -- Roosevelt Highway Yard, Merrick Senior Center, Newbridge Road Park in Bellmore and Seamans Neck Road Park in Seaford.

The Roosevelt project is funded by a $250,000 federal grant, while the other three projects are funded by about $208,000 in state grants, town officials said.

The town expects the solar projects to save taxpayers about $50,000 per year in public energy costs, Supervisor Kate Murray said.

"We do these projects because they are good for the planet, but an added bonus is that they are good for taxpayers' wallets," Murray said.

The four projects represent a total of slightly less than 90 kilowatts -- 52 kilowatts of which are from the Roosevelt project. An average home can be powered with a 10-kilowatt solar system.

The Roosevelt project is a set of solar panels that will help power a town highway facility.

The Seaford project will energize offices and a garage, while the Merrick Senior Center system will help power that facility. The Bellmore park project includes a solar panel system that is designed as a decorative canopy.

All of the projects are currently online, town officials said -- the Merrick Senior Center was the most recent to launch, on Saturday.

Murray announced the solar projects at a news conference in Seamans Neck Road Park. Sen. Charles J. Fuschillo Jr. (R-Merrick), who worked to secure the state funding, attended.

Hempstead now has 15 solar-powered town facilities, officials said.

A $24,000 solar lighting project at parks, which will be funded through state grant money, is expected to open soon, town officials said in a statement.

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