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Cape May Preservation Commission finds solar panels acceptable

June 14, 2010

photo by Michael Wirtz, Philadelphia Inquirer

The Cape May Historic Preservation Commission recently approved 38 new solar panels on the roof of the Mad Batter Restaurant and Carroll Villa Hotel in the heart of the town’s National Historic Landmark district.   The solar panels are installed on two flat sections of the roof and visible only four stories up from the widow’s walk cupola of the Italiante-style landmark.

“The panels won’t generate enough energy to fully operate the business, much less create a surplus to sell back into the energy grid, but it’s a start,” according to hotel owner Mark Kulkowitz.  And the panels will offset about 7,987 pounds of carbon dioxide – an amount equivalent to recycling 165,000 soda cans, or not burning 962 gallons of gasoline, or planting one acre of trees, according to Matt Elliott, a clean-energy advocate for Environment New Jersey.

Cape May HPC member Tom Carroll says that this and several other small solar collector installations have been approved with caution.  “I think moving in this direction needs to be done, but it needs to be done at a reasonable pace and very carefully,”he said.
Read more in this Philadelphia Inquirer article.

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