Standard Solar, Inc. has completed the installation of a 3.4 megawatt (MW) solar system for the Town of Stafford, Conn.
The 11,780 panel virtual net-metered system featuring three arrays: two at Stafford Middle School (1.296MW each) and an 848 kilowatt (kW) array at the Town's closed landfill, will offset all of the school's electrical usage and most of the Town's other municipal buildings.
"Six years ago, the town formed an Energy Advisory committee and hasn't been the same since. In that short span, the town has gone from passing out compact fluorescent bulbs to record setting energy independence. This past month the last 848 kW of the 3.4 MW solar system became operational bringing the town significantly closer to its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint to zero," said Dennis C. Milanovich, Building Official and Town Engineer, Town of Stafford. "This endeavor was not without its challenges, but our partner Standard Solar along with their primary subcontractor, Electrical Contractors Inc. of Hartford, demonstrated a perseverance in the face of regulatory obstacles that proved vital to the success of this project."
The Town of Stafford used a Tax Exempt Lease Purchase (TELP) which enabled them to purchase and own the system outright. Utilizing this method, a long term ZREC (Zero Emission Energy Credit) contract, and high cost of electricity makes ownership advantageous for the Town.
With an expected annual output of more than 4.6 million kilowatt hours per year, the system is projected to save the Town $4,316,126 over 15 years and $12,270,830 over 25 years. Through the solar array combined with a high efficiency geothermal heat pump system, the Town is expected to save more than $24 million over 25 years as it completes the execution of its energy plan.
"The completion of this system marks a huge milestone for the Town of Stafford. They are one of the few towns in America to undertake such a tremendous sustainability effort," said Scott Wiater, president and CEO, Standard Solar. "This project and the dedication of the Town should be a model for other towns across the U.S. to follow. We should all recognize and applaud the significance of this achievement."