Westport's own solar farm dedicated to Tony Connors

Ceremony welcomes facility atop closed landfill

Posted 6/15/19

Westport is home to a host of solar farms these days with a bunch more in the works, but back when one was first envisioned for the summit of the town’s closed landfill, the concept was new …

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Westport's own solar farm dedicated to Tony Connors

Ceremony welcomes facility atop closed landfill

Posted

Westport is home to a host of solar farms these days with a bunch more in the works, but back when one was first envisioned for the summit of the town’s closed landfill, the concept was new here.

Late last Wednesday afternoon, residents and officials gathered at the 72 Hix Bridge Road site (by the town transfer station) to celebrate the long-awaited opening of that solar facility, planning for which began over a decade ago.

And they applauded most loudly when town administrative assistant Lucy Tabit unveiled the sign that proclaims:

“Westport Landfill Solar Project

Dedicated to Anthony ‘Tony’ Connors

of Westport for his valuable

contributions to this

innovative solar project”

The long process went through “fits and starts,” Town Administrator Tim King told the audience. One contractor got started on it but dropped out when the state changed regulations. Later, Ameresco stepped in and saw it through to completion.

“There were people who wanted this project to go through,” Mr. King said. “Most of my interactions have been with Tony Connors He — first of all he is a most wonderful human being, wouldn’t you all agree?”

“He persisted, he was tenacious in his very gently manner.”

“First I thought they should name it after me,” the administrator laughed. “Instead, we’ve decided to honor the person that we thought is most deserving — that is Tony Connors.”

Mr. Connors, longtime head of the town Energy Committee, tipped his cap from his seat in the front row alongside his wife Sharon.

Kleo Taliadouros, vice president of Ameresco, said his company’s partnership with Westport has been fruitful.

“The town is taking an idle landfill and transforming it into a revenue producing asset.” The facility will provide lease and tax revenue to Westport “without any investment from the town itself.” Ameresco’s involvement will continue as the company will operate and maintain the solar farm throughout the life of the lease.

And, he said, it will provide significant environmental benefits.

It’s impact will:

• Be equal to preserving 660 of forest a year

• Be equal to taking 120 passenger cars off the road per year

• Provide electricity to the equivalent of 98 households per year.

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