Tri-Town Arena solar panels may generate revenue

Brasher Town Supervisor Mark A. Peets says the town could see some additional revenue if a developer decides to put solar panels on the Tri-Town Arena roof. Bob Beckstead/Watertown Daily Times

BRASHER FALLS — The towns of Brasher and Stockholm could see some additional revenue if a developer decides to put solar panels on the Tri-Town Arena roof, which is operated by both towns.

“I reached out to the solar company to take a look at the Tri-Town Arena. We had a project that we were starting before COVID hit. We can lease out the roof and maybe even some property that the town owns that could be used for solar production. They were very interested when I told them that we had a nice arena with a large roof and we were looking at doing a solar project prior to COVID,” Brasher Town Supervisor Mark A. Peets said.

He said the south side of the arena was a viable spot for the sun to reach the solar panels.

“We’re trying to make better use of the type of buildings that are out there for this type of energy,” he said.

Mr. Peets said there would be no cost to the town.

“This one looked pretty enticing as far as money into the town. It precludes the town from owning the equipment. It’s basically solar panels that would be mounted to the roof. They have the engineering study done and they can take a look at it if they want. They do all the work, all the planning, and maintain the equipment. They would own the equipment. They would just set up a lease with us. We would allow them to use the space and we would benefit. It would be like a 25-year lease and we’d be guaranteed the money for 25 years. We’d be crazy not to invest for the future,” he said.

Mr. Peets said that, while they wouldn’t change their electric provider, National Grid, they would be getting a revenue stream to help pay that bill.

“The paper I have said it could be up to $30,000 or more for each section of panel that they put in. The good thing is it doesn’t cost us a thing. The town would not have to submit any money. We wouldn’t get money until it was finally built and up and running. That would be revenue for the town that we could put in our revenue line and we could lower the taxes,” he said.

He said the developers could also consider putting solar panels in other town-owned areas in the town.

“They’re going to take a look at some of the properties that I sent them. They’re looking at tax map numbers and they’re going to get back to me as far as to come out and take look,” Mr. Peets said.

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