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USA: Officials cut ribbon at refurbished ‘solar’ train station

Governor Dannel Malloy joined a host of Westport politicians and a group of about 75 persons in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the beautifully refurbished eastbound Westport Train Station, celebrating the first solar powered, electric car-charging train station in the state of Connecticut and in the nation.

The 52 new rooftop solar panels will supply enough energy to run the train station, the eastbound station lights and four adjacent charging stations for electric cars.

A proud First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said the refurbished train station, which dates from 1848, represented a new era for alternative energy. He called the celebration, “A new era for Westport and a new era for the state of Connecticut.” He pressed for even greater advances in lower-cost energy in the future, heralding a day when compressed natural gas would also be available for cars at the train station.

Malloy applauded the new energy-efficient station noting that Connecticut’s energy rates are the second highest in the nation. He said repeatedly, “We need cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy to be competitive.” He credited Westport as being one of the busiest stations along the 37 stop New Haven line, with 2,500 trips daily.

A host of state and local politicians came to participate in the ribbon cutting, including Dan Esty, Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and James Redeker, Commissioner of the Department of Transportation. Also present were state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, Rep. Gail Lavielle, and Sen. Toni Boucher.

Dan Esty called the station a model of what cleaner, cheaper energy could accomplish and a partnership between executive and legislative branches. “We are moving fast,” he said, “at least in Westport.”
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