In July 2015, the district entered into a 20-year solar energy power purchase agreement with SunEdison. The partnership resulted in the construction of a 2 megawatt (MW) solar energy farm located in Altamont. By entering into this agreement, the district will receive credits that are applied to its electric bills (for generating energy that is delivered to National Grid), under a program known as remote net metering. This program was designed to provide incentives to energy services companies and large electrical customers to invest in solar farms as a renewable energy source and to reduce carbon emissions.
In November 2018, the racking systems (which hold the solar panels) were installed by two-person teams. The teams worked together to bolt the metal “racking” supports to each of the posts. The process involves each bolt being torqued to a specific tightness and individually marked, indicating that the required torque was applied.
The solar site has a total of 8,000 panels and under good weather conditions about 2,000 panels can be installed per day. Installation of the panels is expected to be completed by the end of the month. Following installation, the next step requires National Grid to make the interconnection to the solar farm before it can become operational.
Stay tuned for more!
Some quick facts:
- The solar panel farm is located on a 22-acre site on Becker Road in Altamont
- The district’s 4-year kilowatt hour (kWh) consumption average is 5,688,594 kWh
- This solar farm system will produce about 3.3 million kWh per year
- The district is projected to save an estimated $4-$4.5 million over a 20-year period through SunEdison’s power purchase agreement.
- This project will offset the district’s electrical carbon footprint by approximately 58%