Thousands of new solar panels to save East Haven money, power buildings

EAST HAVEN – Five acres of otherwise unusable land has been turned into a moneymaker for the city in the form of a solar panel that will power several municipal buildings, including East Haven High School.

“This new solar system is a win-win situation,” said Mayor Joseph A. Carfora in a statement announcing the completion of the project. “We save electricity costs and generate income from unused land. We are also helping to build a more sustainable and energy-efficient city. “

The city has a 20-year lease and no upfront power purchase agreement with Greenskies Clean Energy LLC, which is expected to save the city approximately $ 1.4 million in electricity costs and additional income from annual leases over these two decades.

The city council approved the conclusion of a lease agreement with Greenskies for the landfill site in 2017. At the time, Greenskies agreed to pay the city $ 15,000 annually for every megawatt generated on the site, and the one-megawatt solar farm would generate about $ 700,000 in revenue for the total list of taxable assets.

Through the state’s Virtual Net Metering program, the city will credit the energy generated by the solar array to several municipal buildings – not just the high school, but the Grove J. Tuttle Elementary School, the municipal recreation and sports complex, and the police force.

Greenskies was responsible for development, and the 1.17 megawatt array at 240 Commerce St. is now complete and operational, said Domonique Bedbury, Marketing Manager at Greenskies.

The project on the East Haven capped landfill consists of approximately 3,000 solar panels. The city’s transfer station remains intact for recycling.

Greenskies is an experienced brownfield solar developer with more than 27 megawatts of solar landfill projects in 14 locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts, including Fairfield. The plaques can be found on both municipal and commercial properties in 30 Connecticut communities and on highway rest stops in Connecticut.

Another 15 projects are in various stages of development in New Haven County.

In addition to the financial benefits, the East Haven project is expected to generate more than 1.64 million kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy annually, according to the company. During its lifetime, the project will offset more than 19,500 tons of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent of more than 4,275 cars, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Calculator.

Greenskies and its sister company Clean Focus were founded in 2009.

According to Greenskies, its Connecticut arrays include: East Windsor; Berlin; East Lyme; Harwinton; Newington; Putnam; Southington; Lisbon; Mittelstadt; Torrington; Bantam; Manchester; Rocky hill; Waterford; Fairfield (Landfill and Garage and Mill Hill School and Warde and Ludlowe); Canterbury; New Haven (Walmart); Naugatuck (Walmart); North Harbor (destination); Westhafen (Walmart); Trumbull (target); Shelton (Walmart); Hartford (Walmart); Trumbull; Cromwell (Walmart); Torrington (target); Milford (Walmart); North harbor; Bethel (target); Meriden (goal); and Dayville (destination).

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