It was a historic day at the Mark Twain Library in Redding as a ribbon cutting ceremony took place to introduce their new solar energy system. Redding preschoolers were enjoying Story Time in the original section of the library when they were asked to join the ceremony to cut the ribbon. The solar project was made possible by the generous financial support of Santa Energy Corporation. The project also received funding from the Connecticut Zero Emission Renewable Credit program through Connecticut Light & Power. Sound Solar Systems completed the installation of the system that Santa Energy will own for 10 years and the library has the option to buy it back in 6 years. Santa, a commercial electricity provider, will sell the power produced back to library at a rate discounted from the grid. The system is projected to reduce the library’s draw from the grid by 39%.

The 42 kW, 168 module system will generate enough power to operate 5 homes per year. This is equivalent to planting 24 trees or taking 4 cars off the road per year and should save the library about $10,000 per year. Tom Santa, CEO of Santa Energy Corporation emphasized the importance of this project. “Santa Energy is pleased to be able to support the Mark Twain Library through this project,” Tom said. “The addition of solar power to the library’s energy portfolio is cost effective, benefits the environment and sets a great example for Redding.”

Janice Meehan, President of Mark Twain Library’s Board of Directors, was extremely proud and grateful for the completion of this project. “With Santa Energy’s support and Sound Solar’s innovative technology, our Library can realize savings which will allow us to enhance the Library’s programs and services. It is also a major step in the Library’s green initiative.”

The ceremony was full of attendees from the library’s Board of Directors and current staff. Also in attendance were First Selectman Natalie Ketcham, State Representative John Shaban and State Senator Toni Boucher, all of which spoke to the audience and commended Santa Energy for making this project possible. Without the support of Santa Energy the Mark Twain Library would not have been able to go green and embark on this innovative project.

The Mark Twain Library was founded by Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) in 1908 with books from his own private collection. Today, the library honors the spirit of its founder by serving as a center for intellectual, educational, social and cultural enrichment and offers a wide variety of materials, resources and programs for all ages. Mark Twain and Thomas Edison, the discoverer of electricity, were great friends and Edison visited Twain at his Redding home in 1909. It is only fitting that now, years later, this partnership has been reignited.

A Kiosk provided by Santa Energy allows the public to view pictures from the progress of the project and live deck monitoring provides real time tracking of the energy usage of the library.

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