Town animal shelter to go solar

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Dogs at the Southold Town Animal Shelter will soon have a new outdoor shading center with solar panels on its roof.

The Southold Town animal shelter will soon be powered by solar energy.

Wanting to take action before the end of the year in order to receive Long Island Power Authority rebates, the board accepted a bid Tuesday night for installation of photovoltaic panels at the shelter on Peconic Lane.

Oakdale-based SUNation was approved to place arrays on the roof of the shelter and construct a separate outdoor “shading space” for the animals that will also have solar panels on its roof.

The town received two offers on the proposed project after putting it out to bid in November, town engineer Michael Collins said during the board’s work session. The cheaper option, from Eldor Construction of Holtsville, would have cost the town roughly $266,000, Mr. Collins said. However, that company did not provide a design concept for the project, causing the town to pass.

“Without a concept plan, I have no way of knowing what their intention is,” Mr. Collins said.

The town ultimately accepted SUNation’s bid for $313,000. The company’s proposal includes a design plan and engineers from the firm visited the site before drafting their bid, Mr. Collins said. SUNation has been interested in the project since May and has since been working on developing a feasibility plan that would provide shading for the animals and help the town offset some of its electrical costs, Mr. Collins said.

“To chase $50,000 and risk losing LIPA rebates doesn’t make sense,” Supervisor Scott Russell said during the morning meeting. It was not clear how much of a rebate the town will receive.

The solar panels would be budgeted as a capital project in 2015 for construction in 2014, Mr. Russell said. Funding would come not just from the town but also from donations the animal shelter has already received, he said.