Let the Sun Spray Into the District. Solar Panel Salesman Returns.By Ari L. Noonan @ 9:00 AM May 08, 2012
[Editor’s Note: The School Board will conduct its regular twice-monthly meeting tonight at 7 in the Board Room of the School District offices.]
Re “A Rich Tale of Clyde and the Solar Panels”
The Solar Panels Man will be back.
One week from this afternoon, at 5:30 in the Board Room of the School District offices on Irving Place, solar salesman Clyde Murley and a representative from SunPower, the panels maker, will lead a community meeting.
Against a background of marveling over the advances in technology, they will be touting the fiscal and physical pleasures and benefits of the proposed solar panels for a parking lot or somewhere else.
The event is billed as a special School Board meeting.
In his most recent appearance last month, Mr. Murley was accorded an enthusiastic reception from the eager Board even though he fell slightly short of solidity in five vaguely crucial areas:
• He could not exactly pin down the price of the panels.
• He could not exactly say where the panels should be placed.
• He could not exactly say when construction would begin.
• Worse, he could not exactly know when construction would finish.
• He could not exactly divulge specific details about the pending agreement with a company predictably named “Sun Power.”
Mr. Murley’s vagueness applies privately as well as publicly. So impressed was the animated Board with his sales job that Pat Siever made a motion to forge a contract with him, and Kathy Pasppalis gave a second.
Here is the School District’s report on Mr. Murley’s meandering sales pitch:
“Clyde Murley presented information on the District’s solar photovoltaic procurement process. He also informed the Board about the preliminary proposals and interviews with three solar companies. Mr.Murley explained what the process was going forward. Roberta Sargent asked if there was built-in funding if there are any problems such as graffiti or wear-and-tear. Mr. Murley confirmed there was. He stated that the contract would have a 25-year maintenance agreement. The vendor would not cover vandalism, but the benefits would override the costs. Jerry Chabola asked if it would be possible to place the panels above stadium seating. Mr. Murley confirmed it would be possible. Ms. Siever asked why there was a drop in costs. Mr. .Murley stated that the cost of the modules has gone down, and that is a big part of why costs have decreased. He also thinks that the vendors may be reducing their fees. Ms. Goldberg inquired about the difference in the products made in Japan or the ones made in Germany. Mr. Murley explained that they are made in China, and China has been producing great products. George Laase asked what generation cell has been offered. Mr. Murley explained that it is more about efficiency than generation. He explained the less efficient models are less expensive. Mr. Silbiger stated that it sounded as if there was no negative in relation to free-standing carport installation other than construction. There are negatives to the rooftop installation, which include the big potential costs. Further discussion ensued. Mr. Silbiger thanked Mr. Murley for his presentation.”
In each of the last two weeks, Mr. Murley has visited the School District from his Northern California home.
On both occasions, he has rejected interview requests, either out of lack of confidence in his meal-ticket product or for one of the five italicized reasons listed above.
Mr. Murley, who enjoys humming “You Are My Sunshine,” is not a fan of baseball’s Atlanta Braves.
Neither did he enjoy the film Captain Courageous.