The Edmond Sun

Features

August 21, 2013

Power plant defender makes a sun salutation

SALEM, Mass. — From his house on the banks of the North River, state Rep. John Keenan can see the sun rise over the stacks of Salem Harbor Station, a coal- and oil-burning power plant once considered to be among the state's worst for pollution.

Keenan, the co-chairman of a legislative committee on energy and utilities, has been a defender of the facility that is the city's top taxpayer and is due to close next year.

Against that backdrop came an interesting development last week on the roof of Keenan's house - solar panels.

Keenan, a 48-year-old Democrat, said the installation of the panels is not a political stunt. It was instead a choice made by his family that reflects his belief in a mix of energy sources.

Keenan said solar panels also make financial sense. With tax credits, rebates, utility savings and something the state calls “solar renewable energy credits,” the Keenans will pay off their nearly $32,000 solar system in five to six years.

The Keenans' 25 panels will produce more energy than they consume, which means they may not pay an electric bill ever again, either.

They are not alone in their enthusiasm. Massachusetts has experienced a virtual explosion of interest in solar energy over the past few years. There are an estimated 10,000 solar installations in the state, most residential, with the majority coming in the past few years.

When the state's Green Communities Act passed in 2007, only 3 megawatts of the state’s energy was produced by solar power. Today the total exceeds 300 megawatts.

That may be minuscule by power standards — Salem Harbor Station, for example, had a capacity of 745 megawatts — but it's enough to power about 300,000 homes.

Solar panels aren’t for everyone. They are best suited for south-facing houses with little shade. While their prices have dropped, the initial investment is not insignificant, and not everyone qualifies for credits and rebates.

But more families are putting up panels. If nothing else, it gets the neighbors peering over fences.

“That’s part of what we’re trying to do,” Keenan said, “is start the discussion.”

Tom Dalton is a reporter for The Salem, Mass., News.

1
Text Only
Features
  • Authorities update Simpson’s saga

    Investigators are attempting to locate the owner of a dog named Simpson to determine whether or not his injuries were due to an accident or man-made, an official said.
    On July 1, the Logan County Sheriff’s Office investigated reports of an injured dog near the intersection of Western and Simpson in south Logan County, Lt. Tom Kutay said. Officers responded and took several statements of a dog being found with injures to its back, Kutay said.

    July 22, 2014

  • Whataburger celebrates children’s superhero spirit with ‘Super-Duper’ event

    It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a Super Duper Celebration! In the heart of every child lives a superhero and on Thursday Whataburger restaurants will celebrate the superhero spirit in all of us with an evening of family fun from 5-7 p.m. at its location at 421 S. Broadway.
    Customers can spend quality time with their little heroes and treat them to a superhero-themed celebration of food, activities and giveaways. Children 12 and under dressed in a superhero costume will receive a free kid’s meal. There will be a Whataburger photo booth and Whataburger’s mascot, Whataguy, will also be present to join the fun.

    July 22, 2014

  • Shopping smarter for family necessities can help the environment

    There’s a growing trend among consumers to make choices reflecting the goals and values that matter to them most.  In fact, two out of five people say they’re more inspired to try a natural product that does something good for themselves, their family and the planet, according to a recent study conducted by Toluna for natural products brand Tom’s of Maine.

    July 21, 2014

  • Back to school lunch Build a better bag

    Brown bag lunches and back to school go hand in hand. As you’re gearing up for the start of a new school year, it’s the perfect time to stock the pantry with healthy sack lunch options and after school snacks, too.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pets

    This is a list of animals that have been found and are at the Edmond Animal Shelter, at Interstate 35 and Covell in the Cross Timbers Municipal Complex. Call the shelter at 216-7615 for more information.

    July 21, 2014

  • Kids Cook Simple ways canned foods get children cooking

    When it comes to teaching children about healthy eating habits, there’s no better classroom than the kitchen.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Garden Vegetable Spring Rolls The Canebrake offers summer recipe for Garden Vegetable Spring Rolls

    The Canebrake, a destination hotel and spa in Wagoner, is offering the following recipe from its restaurant for Garden Vegetable Spring Rolls with Avocado Wasabi Puree.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 21, 2014

  • Quilt Edmond Quilt Guild celebrates 10th anniversary with event

    Quilting has evolved over the years and now, more than ever it is looked at as an art form.
    Edmond’s Quilt Guild is sponsoring its fourth quilt show and festival celebrating its 10th anniversary at the same time this week and inviting area residents to come and check out some of the newest types of quilting.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ryan by horse statue.jpg Good Samaritan who lost his leg ‘Keeps Moving Forward’

    He is an uncommon hero, this Good Samaritan who saved another man’s life and in doing so lost his left leg. Now his friends and family are reaching out to help him.
    While assisting a stranded motorist on Nov. 9, 2011, Edmond resident and Santa Fe High School graduate Tyler Ryan was hit and pinned against the back bumper of a car by an inattentive motorist on 15th Street in front of Crest Supermarket.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo