ReVision Energy has completed the installation of the largest rooftop solar array in company history. The project at the Dover High School and Career Technical Center in Dover, N.H., includes 2,581 solar panels, increasing the state’s solar capacity by 1.5 percent and saving Dover taxpayers more than $4 million long-term at no upfront cost. The project was unanimously approved by the Dover City Council last year. A public solar ribbon-cutting to celebrate the completion of the project is scheduled on Sept. 19.
The solar array has a useful lifespan of 40 years and will generate over 1,000 megawatt-hours of electricity each year, offsetting roughly 40% of the school’s electric load. The solar power generated by the array is equivalent to offsetting 558 tons of carbon pollution each year or the annual electricity use of 88 homes or the carbon sequestered by 600 acres of forests.
ReVision Energy’s agreement with the City of Dover includes an educational initiative aimed at teaching students how solar energy works and exposing students to the various functions involved in the engineering, electrical, and marketing aspects of the project.
According to Dover Energy Commission member Zachary Koehler, “This project has the potential to ignite the imaginations of current and future students. I am hopeful that this array will intrigue students to learn more about this technology and entice them to utilize the educational possibilities they have at Dover High School and the Career Technical Center.”
Purchase agreement details
The 912-kW array was financed through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) which enables the city to purchase electricity at below-market rates and includes a purchase option that becomes available in year 10 of the agreement. Exercising the purchase option would enable the city to acquire the array at a significant discount and produce free solar energy for decades to come.
Investor partner Kenyon Energy owns the school array and will sell the electricity to the city at a negotiated rate. PPAs enable nonprofits, municipalities, and schools that are precluded from accessing available solar incentives to transition to clean energy at no upfront cost. The PPA gives the city the ability to leverage the economic benefits of solar power while affording the investor partner the opportunity to make community investments that align with its core values of creating positive change in the world.
The Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) generated by the array will be sold by Kenyon Energy into environmental compliance markets for the term of the PPA. RECs are market-based mechanisms that represent the environmental benefits of solar power generation. A REC is produced when an array generates one megawatt-hour of solar electricity.
Ongoing maintenance and operations of the project will be managed by Bay4 Energy, one of the country’s leading solar service companies providing a comprehensive suite of energy and asset performance management services.
The City of Dover also partnered with ReVision Energy on the installation of rooftop solar arrays at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire and adjacent Dover Indoor Pool. ReVision Energy donated 103 solar panels for the installation, part of a 318-panel solar array at the museum and pool which share a common electricity meter. The rooftop projects installed on the museum and indoor pool are owned by ReVision Solar Impact Partners (RSIPs).
Under the terms of the RSIP program, impact investors provide capital to build solar projects. Investors earn a modest rate of return through payments made for solar generation, tax incentives, and other project benefits while solar installers benefit from a steady pipeline of work. The entity entering into the agreement receives a reduced electric bill. ReVision Energy continues to seek out impact partners for future projects.
— Solar Builder magazine