Kingspan Energy, with financing from the Connecticut Green Bank, has commissioned nearly 1-MW of rooftop solar at Carmen Arace Middle and Intermediate School in Bloomfield, Conn. completing its largest project in North America to date.
Kingspan installed 2,926 Hyundai panels on the roof of the school. The building covers approximately 170,000 square feet and is the largest energy consumer in the school district. Carmen Arace houses two schools under one roof, serving more than 500 students in grades 5-8.
The solar system will offset more than 80 percent of the school’s electrical use. The power purchase agreement (PPA) will provide a discount of more than 60 percent over the current electric rate and the PPA has a fixed 25-year term. Wayne Casper, Director of Facilities at Bloomfield Public Schools, said the project is expected to save more than $40,000 annually in energy costs and $1.1 million over 25 years. Casper said the district currently spends nearly $250,000 annually in energy costs at Carmen Arace.
“This project proves how schools and municipalities can utilize state funding sources to realize savings through solar energy, at zero cost to the end-user,” said Gavin Blower, Kingspan Energy General Manager. “We have seen considerable electricity rate increases in recent years so we are especially pleased that due to everybody’s work, the district will realize significant operating cost savings on its energy bills and avoid future energy price volatility with a low, fixed cost of electricity”.
Kingspan started working on the project in early June near the end of the school year, and workers wrapped up the project in late July.
— Solar Builder magazine