Brighton, South Boston Ice Rinks Go Green: Using Solar And Electric Energy

BRIGHTON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — State officials gathered on Monday to introduce two Department of Conservation and Recreation hockey rinks that are going green. Reilly Memorial Rink in Brighton and Murphy Memorial Rink in South Boston have started introducing clean energy practices by installing flexible solar panels and new electric Zambonis.

On the curved roofs, over 600 moldable solar panels were installed. The solar film used is 80 percent lighter than traditional glass panels, cost less to install, and can be installed faster, according to DCR. The grid system is estimated to produce 150 kilowatt hours annually, helping to heat the rink in the coldest months while being more cost effective.

"We're trying to do that really with all [of] the buildings, both public and private. That's the goal, it's really important for Massachusetts to lead the charge in general on clean energy transition," Judy Chang, Undersecretary of Energy for Massachusetts told WBZ's Chris Fama.

The new electric Zambonis have two battery banks, giving them enough battery life to resurface the ice for a weekend at Reilly Memorial Rink.

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"We're really trying to look across all of DCR's facilities. We need to be thinking about how we can reduce our carbon emissions in small and in big ways across the entire state," Sarah White, DCR Director of Climate Resilience said.

DCR Commissioner Doug Rice said the panels are just the beginning, with heat pumps and more efficient installation on the inside of the roof to come.

“The installation of solar panels at these ice rinks are great examples of projects being advanced by the Baker-Polito Administration in an effort to make state-owned buildings more sustainable while reducing greenhouse gas emissions into our atmosphere,” Beth Card, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary said in a statement. “These solar projects will increase clean energy opportunities while making the Commonwealth a healthier place for all to benefit from and we are pleased to partner with Eversource to deliver them to both rinks.” 

Commissioner Rice said he believes the solar panels' installation is a step in the right direction, serving as an example for the future.

WBZ's Chris Fama (CFamaWBZ) has more:

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