Community Solar Farms Ribbon Cutting Ceremony a Success

Cutting the ribbon

SOLAR POWER CELEBRATION – Members of the community partnership which constructed three solar farms in the Greater Groton Community cut the ceremonial ribbon, celebrating completion of the project. Shown from left to right, John Burt, Town of Groton Manager; Keith Hedrick, City of Groton Mayor; Captain Paul A. Whitescarver, Commanding Officer, Naval Submarine Base New London; Ron Gaudet, Groton Utilities Director; Mark Lavin, Senior Vice President for Government Development Services, Balfour Beatty Communities, Peggy Roberts, President, Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce (GMCC); and Drew Rankin, Executive Director, Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC). (Photo by Deborah Damm)

From the sounds of the national anthem sung by the Fitch High School chamber choir to the ceremonial cutting of the red ribbon, the celebration of the completion of the three solar farms in the Greater Groton Community was a resounding success.

The ceremony at Polaris Park, the site of the largest of the solar farm sites, was marked by a positive response of representatives of the community team that constructed these renewable energy facilities.

The private and public community partnership includes a broad spectrum of interests, including the U. S. Naval Submarine Base, Balfour Beatty Communities, Groton Utilities, the City of Groton, the Town of Groton, the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative, and Brightfields.

Capt. Paul Whitescarver, Commanding Officer, Naval Submarine Base, New London, stated that “In total, the farms in the Polaris Park, Trident Park, and Pelican Park are expected to produce nearly 8 million kilowatt-hours every year.”

“Today, our Navy energy programs aim to reduce the Navy’s consumption of energy, decrease its reliance on foreign sources of oil, and significantly increase its use of alternative energy,” he emphasized.

Other speakers from the community partnership, including City of Groton Mayor Keith Hedrick, Mark Lavin from Balfour Beatty Communities, and Ronald A. Gaudet, Groton Utilities Director, all emphasized the major energy savings, the importance of the private-community partnership and the positive impact of this green energy source to the Groton’s energy supply mix.

The three solar facilities are expected to produce nearly eight (8) million kilowatt-hours of electric energy annually, including the following approximated lifetime benefits:

Solar Sign* 833 homes served 100 percent annually by solar energy;

* 94,000 tons of carbon eliminated;

* 1,137 cars removed from the road;

* 9,600,000 of gasoline avoided;

* 140,000 tree cleansing properties annually.

The site also contains electric storage capacity. When this storage is used in conjunction with the solar, it provides critical resiliency during the duration of the power outages.

The storage is large enough to extend electric supply for the equivalent of 100 homes for a 24-hour period.

9/19 Outage Information

9/19 – Power Outage Eastern Point Road and south of Rainville Avenue

Update (3:22 p.m.)

Power has been restored to all affected areas. We appreciate the patience of all within the outage areas. If you have further problems please contact Customer Service at 860-446-4000.

Update (3:13 p.m.)

Crews are working diligently to restore power to the affected areas. Power should be restored soon. We will post a notification when power has been restored.

Update (1:34 p.m.)

Power is out currently along Eastern Point Road and south of Rainville Avenue. Crews are diligently working on the problem and hope to have a solution soon.

12:56 p.m.

There is a power outage in the general area of the Benham Road and Eastern Point Road intersection. Crews are currently assessing the situation and hope to have power restored as soon as possible.

There are currently electrical wires down on Rainville Avenue and Benham Road. Please stay clear of the area.

Last Call for Sponsors for Groton’s 12th Annual Fall Festival!

Groton’s Twelfth Annual Fall Festival needs you.  This is the last call for sponsors.  Groton’s Twelfth Annual Fall Festival is scheduled for Saturday, October 7, 2017.  The official deadline for businesses to become sponsors is Wednesday, October 4.

Groton’s Twelfth Annual Fall Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is a rain or shine event.  This is a special community event created and hosted by the Groton Business Association (GBA) of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce.Fall Festival

You can obtain full information on how to become a sponsor by going to the GBA web site at www.grotonbiz.com or calling the Chamber at (860) 572-9578.  It is easier than ever to pay.  The GBA now accepts online payments.

The GBA would like to recognize the companies who have committed to be a sponsor for this year’s event.  They are: Groton Utilities and the Groton Parks   and Recreation Department, Capstone Sponsors;  Stonington Odd Fellows Lodge #26, a Keystone Sponsor; and Groton Shopping Plaza, a Sandstone Sponsor; and Chelsea Groton Bank, Darrell Fox, Centurion Wealth Management; Grover Insurance, Thames Valley Communications and the Light House, Fieldstone Sponsors.

For businesses, this is an opportunity to connect with your current customers and attract new ones.  The Festival gives you access to thousands of potential new customers to promote your message in person.

The main Festival site at Poquonnock Plains Park will feature exhibits by local businesses and organizations.  Artists and crafters will be displaying their skill and have wares for purchase.   A complete list of businesses, organizations, participating artists, crafters, and food vendors, can be found at www.grotonbiz.com.  This is the official Groton Business Association (GBA) and Groton’s Twelfth Annual Fall

The GBA, a coalition of representatives from the local business community, the educational sector, the non-profit community and governmental units, is an affiliation of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce.

Groton Utilities Issues Telephone Scam Alert

Groton Utilities has issued a telephone scam alert as customers are currently receiving unsolicited telephone calls threatening to shut off their electricity. The callers are claiming that the customers’ bills are overdue and are demanding payment over the phone.

Director of Utilities Ron Gaudet explained that a company has been using a phone scam to attempt to defraud its residential and business customers. “These callers are threatening to disconnect our customers for non-payment,” he stated. “These phone calls are not coming from Groton Utilities.”Scam Alert

Gaudet urged all Groton Utilities customers to call customer service at 860-446-4000 if they have any doubts about these types of calls. “We are prepared to respond promptly to your calls and concerns,” he emphasized.

Groton Utilities will never disconnect a customer’s service without following our policies and procedures which insure a proper review of a customer’s account and reasonable opportunities to pay a delinquent account, he explained.

“Most importantly, if Groton Utilities contacts you directly, we will always identify ourselves at the outset of the telephone call,” Gaudet stated.

Groton Utilities recommends that you always ask for identification of any caller and their telephone numbers. You can always call us directly at our Customer Service Center at 860-446-4000 to confirm the legitimacy of any unsolicited calls to your residence or business.

Never give your personal financial information to anyone whom you do not know. This includes credit card numbers, social security numbers or bank account numbers.

Groton Utilities is a municipally owned and operated electric utility, serving more than 15,000 customers in the Greater Groton area.​

Sunday Night Concert Cancelled

Sunday night’s concert featuring the band Rock and Soul Revue scheduled for Washington Park in the City of Groton has been cancelled due to the unsettling weather conditions.

Groton Utilities Celebrates Completion of Community Solar Farms with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Groton Utilities has scheduled a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate a successful private and public community partnership which produced three solar farms in the Greater Groton Community.

The ceremony will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 21, at Polaris Park, the site of the largest of the three solar farms. The other two solar farm sites are Trident Park and Pelican Park.

Among the expected speakers for the event are Capt. Paul Whitescarver, Commanding Officer, Naval Submarine Base, New London; City of Groton Mayor Keith Hedrick, and a representative from Balfour Beatty Communities.

The three solar facilities are expected to produce nearly seven (7) million kilowatt-hours of electric energy annually, including the following approximated lifetime benefits:

* 833 homes served 100 percent annually by solar energy;

* 94,000 tons of carbon eliminated;

* 1,137 cars removed from the road;

* 9,600,000 of gasoline avoided;

* 140,000 tree cleansing properties annually.

Solar Panels

The site also contains electric storage capacity. When this storage is used in conjunction with the solar, it provides critical resiliency during the duration of the power outages.

The storage is large enough to extend electric supply for the equivalent of 100 homes for a 24-hour period.

The private and public community partnership includes a broad spectrum of interests, including the U. S. Naval Submarine Base, Balfour Beatty Communities, Groton Utilities, the City of Groton, the Town of Groton, the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative, and Brightfields.

Groton Utilities has been a municipally owned and operated electric utility since 1904 and serves a population of more than 35,000 in the greater Groton area, including Pfizer, Electric Boat and the U. S. Naval Submarine Base.  Groton Utilities also has a Water Division, which has 6,600 water customer accounts and serves a population of some 45,000 people.  The Water Division serves the City of Groton, parts of the Town of Groton, Groton Long Point, Noank, and sells water to the Town of Ledyard on a sale-for-resale basis. The Water Division also sells water to the Mohegan Sun Casino.

Labor Day Weekend Concerts in the Park

Jay Dempsey Band photo

The Jay Dempsey Band

Join us for a magical, musical Labor Day Weekend of Concerts in the Park 2017 featuring two concerts – one on Friday, another on Sunday.

Country music at its best will be featured Friday, September 1, at 6:30 p.m. in Washington Park in the City of Groton when Jay Dempsey and his band sets the mood. Dempsey’s country band features some seasoned players from “Highway Call” & “High Times.” Returning to the lineup are veterans Jim Pavelski on drums, Don Hemmer on pedal steel and electric guitar and Chuck Davis on bass & vocals.

Jay’s 2017 show includes some well-known traditional country tunes, featuring the pedal steel guitar, Texas Country, Southern rock and some favorite country contemporary radio hits. The band recently performed the Mohegan Sun 2017 BBQ Festival and the Taste of Mystic. A free, family fun City of Groton Concert not to be missed.

On Sunday the big sound of the Rock N’ Soul Revue band will be featured in Washington Park in the City of Groton beginning at 6:30 p.m. You will simply want to start dancing, when the Rock N’ Soul Revue strikes up the band with Motown, rock, pop and a touch of calypso.

Rock 'n Soul Revue Band

Rock ‘n Soul Revue

The concert series is free and is co-sponsored and co-produced by Groton Utilities and the City of Groton Parks and Recreation Department.

For concert information or cancellation notices, call 860-446-4129, the concert hotline. Or check out Groton Utilities’ web site at grotonutilities.com and the City’s web site at cityofgroton.com.

Food is available on site.  The City of Groton Babe Ruth League sells food and drink as a fund raiser.

The concerts are designed to be especially appealing to families for a fun, inexpensive night out. Spectators are encouraged to bring their families and perhaps a picnic supper.  The concert site also has sufficient room on the basketball court for dancing.

Community Service Award Presented to Marcia R. Gipstein

Marcia R. Gipstein is the recipient of the 2017 Jacqueline B. Nixon Community Service Award for her many years of “Giving Back to the Community”.  The award was presented at the annual City of Groton Day celebration on August 4.

A check for $1,000 was presented to the Ledge Light Foundation Inc. in her honor. The charitable donation from Groton Utilities is the symbol of the award.Marcia Gipstein with Award

From 2008 to the present, Gipstein has been a major force and volunteer in the community effort to keep Ledge Light local. In nominating his wife for the award, Todd Gipstein, who is President of the Ledge Light Foundation, said that, while she is a transplant to Groton, “Marcia has embraced the community, helped Eastern Point, and been one of the driving forces behind the restoration and use of Ledge Light, a beloved local landmark.”

“For eight (8) years, she has often put in 40-hours a week (all volunteer) helping restore the light, create the museum inside the lighthouse, and run tours,” he explained.

Todd says that Marcia was the driving force behind the lighthouse’s 2009 Centennial Gala.  That event drew 220 people and raised enough money to commission important studies, start the museum and allow the Foundation to begin serous restoration work.

Groton Utilities named the award, The Jacqueline B. Nixon Community Service Award, to commemorate Mrs. Nixon’s service to her community. Jackie, as she was known to most, gave back to the community in many ways, including operating a food pantry in her residence for 24 years.  She distributed food on a regular basis to many needy families.  Jackie passed away July 6, 2004 after a brief battle with cancer.  Groton Utilities created the award in 2004 during its 100th anniversary year.

In 2009, Marcia was the driving force behind the lighthouse’s Centennial gala, which drew 220 people and raised enough money to commission important studies to start the museum and begin serious restoration work.

Ledge Light LogoFor the past nine (9) years, she has been on the Ledge Light Foundation Board of Directors, serving as its treasurer.  Her involvement has also included all the preservation work on the light, writing grants, creating the gift shop. She has also been in charge of tour guides, tour scheduling and been a guide herself.

Marcia co-wrote the application for ownership of the light when the federal government offered it to a non-profit.  This was a joint effort with the New London Maritime Society to keep Ledge Light local.  The result was successful.

Her other volunteer efforts include serving as co-president of the Eastern Point Property Owners Association from 2007-2012 and contributing her time and energy helping on various projects such as the annual block party. She has been a member of the Eastern Point Historical Commission since 2009, helping to keep the Eastern Point neighborhood an historical gem.

Earle A. Williams was the recipient of the first annual Jacqueline B. Nixon Community Service Award.  Other winners of the award are: Robert “Bob” Leeney, Mimi

Orkney, Lillian “Lil” Hansen, Sarah Stanley, William “Bill” Welsh, Jr., Alfred Restivo, Robert “Bob” Austin LaFrance, Archie C. Swindell, Mildred “Milly” Carlson, Lian Obrey, James “Jim” Streeter and Charlie Ebbinghaus.

It’s time to save money- Competitive Resources

It’s time to save some money – representatives from Competitive Resources will be going through the neighborhoods of Newtown Road, Ring Drive, Corey Road, Donna Drive, Debbie Drive and Indian Field Road on Thursday, November 10th making appointments for free Home Energy Savings (HES) services. During your HES visit a technician will replace inefficient light bulbs, install foam insulation on plumbing, seal ductwork and much, much more. There really is no easier way to save money and conserve energy.

Groton Utilities has a long standing relationship with Competitive Resources and together have saved customers many thousands of dollars over the years with this program. Please take advantage of this opportunity.

https://www.competitiveresourcesinc.com/home-energy-audit/home-energy-assessment-services