City vandals damage solar power arrayBy Brent Curtis
STAFF WRITER | January 31,2013Vyto Starinskas / Staff Photo
City police and Green Mountain Power officials investigate vandalized solar panels on Cleveland Avenue on Wednesday.Rock-throwing vandals damaged panels on a solar power array at the south end of Cleveland Avenue on Wednesday, according to Rutland City Police.
The five solar panels, owned by Green Mountain Power, were cracked by rocks that investigators believe were tossed from an elevated railroad trestle nearby, said police Sgt. John Sly.
There were no witnesses to the incident, which Sly said took place in an area known for its foot traffic.
“It could be almost anyone,” he said. “It’s a non-populated area that’s used as a shortcut or walking path.”
The $1,600 worth of damage to the panels was minor considering the expensive electrical components that harvest solar from more than 100 panels located in the fenced-in area, according to Steve Costello, vice president of generation and energy innovation for GMP.
But since the damage exceeded $1,000, Sly said the perpetrators would face felony unlawful mischief charges if caught.
The vandalism occurred less than a week after police arrested three teenagers for allegedly using a pellet gun to break windows in vehicles, homes and businesses in Rutland and two nearby communities. The criminal acts carried out at the end of Cleveland Avenue did not appear to be related to the other cases of vandalism, Sly said.
Costello said the panels would be repaired and returned to operation today.
Costello, who is also overseeing an initiative to make Rutland the “solar capital” of the region by using more sun power in the city than anywhere else in New England, also said the destructive acts wouldn’t deter the power company from its goals.
“While this is disappointing in that we’re trying to do something positive for the city, it doesn’t dissuade us,” Costello said. “I think the feedback we got from people who heard about the damage today highlights the importance of what we’re trying to do here.”
email@example.comMORE IN Local & State
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.