A 16.64-kilowatt rooftop solar array recently installed at the Town Hall in Hanover, N.H., is demonstrating the municipality’s commitment to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The grid-tied system includes 52 solar panels and will generate approximately 17,000 hours of clean energy each year. ReVision Energy, a local employee-owned solar company, handled the installation.
A second municipal solar array currently under contract will be installed on Hanover’s water reclamation facility. The 69.76-kilowatt, grid-tied project will include 218 solar panels which will generate nearly 80,000-kilowatt hours of solar electricity each year and offset roughly 41 tons of carbon pollution annually.
In 2017, Hanover became the first “Ready for 100” town in New Hampshire. The program is a Sierra Club initiative that encourages leaders across the country to commit to 100% renewable energy by the year 2050. The municipality approved an article at its 2017 town meeting which set the community-wide goal of transitioning to 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and transitioning heating and transportation to run on clean, renewable sources of energy by 2050.
On May 14, voters will decide on a warrant article that would authorize the Selectboard in Hanover to enter into electric Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with solar installers, who will install, own and maintain one or more solar systems on town-owned buildings or land, and to grant leases and easements for access to the locations of these systems. The town would then purchase green power generated by the solar arrays located on town property and will have the option to purchase any solar arrays located on town property in the future.
“It is our desire to offset the entire municipal load and develop additional capacity for community solar when regulations are more favorable,” according to Peter Kulbacki, Director of Public Works for the Town of Hanover. “Additionally, Hanover is perusing a green power supply option for residents and small businesses as well as helping develop PPA’s which could provide our larger users with a long-term green power option with stable rates.”
In 2014, Hanover was named the Environmental Protection Agency’s first Green Power Community in New Hampshire. Solar energy projects across town include businesses and town residents plus institutions like Dartmouth College where nearly 700 kilowatts of solar arrays have been installed across campus.
— Solar Builder magazine