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Retirement community installs solar panels as part of a project led by residents

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 5:43 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - It’s a sustainable energy project that was four years in the making, and today it came to fruition. The first, of 682 solar panels, went up this morning as Oak Hammock residents got to watch the vision become reality.

“It’s both good for the environment and it’s good for our internal economics here,” said John Paul, one of the residents involved with the project.

He said his hope is that over time the solar panels “show a nice return on investment.”

Right now, Oak Hammock’s electrical bill is about $1 million. Paul said the solar panels should help save $50,000 a year, and the savings should go up with time.

“I think that’s kind of the name of the game these days and we’re very proud to just be a part of that,” said Paul.

In 2017, the residents formed a committee to bring solar panels to their community.

Nelson Logan, another resident on the project, said getting to this point didn’t come without setbacks.

“The board only meets four or five times a year, and their agenda is very full and very busy,” said Logan.

Once the board approved the project, the team chose “Solar Impact” to install the panels and get the ball rolling.

Each member of the team signed their name on the first panel, to leave their mark.

“Failure can be done alone, but success requires a team, and we had a very good team,” said Logan.

Solar Impact professionals installed 24 panels today.

They plan to move on to the next building in Oak Hammock the first week of August.

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