B y Dan King

Since November, the Hartford Central School has been awaiting a state response to its plans to install solar panels.

“Our plans have been in…for quite some time, but unfortunately things are very backlogged” at the State Education Department, said school superintendent Andrew Cook.

Cook said the school was supposed to hear back from the state within six weeks, but that time frame has been extended to months.

“I’m hoping to hear back soon,” he said.

Much of the hold-up revolves around the district’s intended “ground mount” panels at the bus garage, which has caused another government agency to get involved in the process.

The district received an inquiry from the state Office of Historical Preservation about testing soil at the school’s garage for past disturbances and development, before installing the panels.

Cook said the district will also be evaluating the garage as part of its buildings and conditions survey.

Despite the red tape slowing the process at the bus garage, Cook said the district is moving forward with panels on the tech building and main building, In January, the school board received conditional approval from National Grid for the installation of the solar panels.

The district estimated last year that the panels could save $65,000 or $70,000 in annual energy costs.

“It will be significant savings on the production and supply side of things,” Cook added.
The district also burns wood chips, a money-saving process.

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