Town of Winchester Takes Action Against Climate Change, Installing Three New Solar PV Systems with Solect Energy
Another municipality installs multiple solar energy systems for maximum benefit.
Solect Energy has completed the installation of three different rooftop solar energy systems totaling over 273 kW in the Town of Winchester, Mass., Town Manager Lisa Wong announced today.
The installations are located at the Winchester Vinson Owen School (69kW DC), Winchester Department of Public Works (76kW DC), and Winchester High School (127kW DC) and are owned by Safari Energy. All three systems are behind-the-meter Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), which means that the Town consumes the energy generated at the building, and instead of purchasing the systems, it purchases the solar energy at a low, fixed rate, displacing a portion of electricity delivered by the utility.
Like dozens of other Solect PPA Customers, the Town of Winchester became a member of PowerOptions, New England's largest energy-buying consortium, to leverage its Solar and Storage Program procurement. Through the program, the town was able to contract the three solar PPAs without having to conduct a separate bid. Rather, the Town utilized the PowerOptions Solar Program with Solect Energy, saving significant time and effort and resulting in considerable savings for the Town.
"The Town of Winchester wanted to add rooftop solar arrays to suitable town and school buildings to put our Climate Action Plan into action and also reduce energy costs. It was challenging to balance the sustainability goals with operations and maintenance needs. Solect listened and partnered with town officials and multiple-member committees with expertise, patience, and creativity. As the town identifies other locations for solar projects, Solect would be on our list to work with again," said Susan Verdicchio, former School Committee Chair and current Select Board member for the Town of Winchester.
The installation of the solar systems is just one of the many things the Town of Winchester is doing to continue its long history of environmental activism and community betterment. Since 2010, Winchester has been a designated Green Community and dedicatedly taken actions to become more energy efficient, reduce its carbon footprint, and fight climate change, including:
• Subscribing to Community Solar
• Becoming a Lead by Example Community
• Joining the MASSCEC Heat Smart Program
• Passing a Climate Action Plan this past June, which seeks to reduce carbon pollution and enhance community resilience.
"The Town of Winchester's commitment to going green is truly inspiring. The three solar systems that Solect installed will not only further their efforts, but it will provide substantial savings on their utility bills and serve as an excellent educational tool for students and the community," said Solect Energy's Vice President of Development Matt Shortsleeve.
The rooftop arrays will produce approximately 3,000 MWh expected to save the Town of Winchester approximately $525,000 in their electric savings plus PILOT payments over the next 20 years.
Together, Solect Energy and PowerOptions have reduced energy costs with over 80 solar or solar + energy storage projects to serve PowerOptions members including cities, towns, schools, state agencies and nonprofits across Massachusetts.
Established in 1998, PowerOptions is New England's largest non-profit consortium for energy and sustainability, helping nonprofits and the public sector achieve energy cost savings and environmental goals. With more than 450 members, we leverage our collective strength to negotiate extremely favorable energy supply and services. As a nonprofit, PowerOptions' mission is to save our members time and money, and any nonprofit or public entity is eligible to join and benefit from programs for electricity & natural gas supply, solar & renewables, and electric transportation & sustainability planning. For more information, go to www.poweroptions.org.
About Solect Energy
Solect Energy of Hopkinton, Mass., is the tenth-largest commercial solar developer in the country. Solect helps commercial and industrial businesses, state government, cities and towns, and nonprofits in New England transform the way they manage and optimize energy. The company's services include solar financing, design, engineering, installation, operations and maintenance, 24/7 system monitoring, and utility bill monitoring. Products include rooftop and canopy solar energy systems, and solar energy storage systems that can provide electricity during power outages, and the ability to use stored solar when utility prices are at a premium. Solect was founded in 2009 and employs 70 people.
About Safari Energy
Safari Energy, LLC is the solar partner of choice for commercial and industrial customers, real estate owners, public sector organizations and solar developers seeking competitive financial solutions for their projects. Headquartered in New York City, Safari Energy has helped customers unlock enormous economic value and drive significant energy savings by developing hundreds of solar energy projects from Massachusetts to Hawaii. With extensive interdisciplinary expertise, Safari supports the growth of distributed energy resources and PPL Corporation's focus on advancing a sustainable energy future. www.safarienergy.com