Town Manager Lisa Wong has announced that Solect Energy has completed the installation of three different rooftop solar energy systems which total over 273 kW in the Town of Winchester, Massachusetts. Safari Energy owns the new installations that include 69-kW DC at the Winchester Vinson Owen School,76-kW DC at Winchester Department of Public Works, and Winchester High School with 127-kW DC. All three systems are behind-the-meter PPAs, which means that the Town consumes the energy generated at the building, and instead of purchasing the systems, it purchases the solar energy at a low, fixed rate, displacing a portion of electricity delivered by the utility.
To leverage its Solar and Storage Program procurement, the Town of Winchester became a member of PowerOptions, New England’s largest energy-buying consortium. Through the program, the town was able to contract the three solar PPAs without having to conduct a separate bid. Rather, the Town utilized the PowerOptions Solar Program with Solect Energy, saving significant time and effort and resulting in considerable savings for the Town.
“The Town of Winchester wanted to add rooftop solar arrays to suitable town and school buildings to put our Climate Action Plan into action and also reduce energy costs. It was challenging to balance the sustainability goals with operations and maintenance needs. Solect listened and partnered with town officials and multiple-member committees with expertise, patience, and creativity. As the town identifies other locations for solar projects, Solect would be on our list to work with again,” said Susan Verdicchio, former School Committee Chair and current Select Board member for the Town of Winchester.
Since 2010, Winchester has been a designated Green Community and dedicatedly taken actions to become more energy efficient, reduce its carbon footprint, and fight climate change, including:
- Subscribing to Community Solar
- Becoming a Lead by Example Community
- Joining the MASSCEC Heat Smart Program
- Passing a Climate Action Plan in June 2020, which seeks to reduce carbon pollution and enhance community resilience.
“The Town of Winchester’s commitment to going green is truly inspiring. The three solar systems that Solect installed will not only further their efforts, but it will provide substantial savings on their utility bills and serve as an excellent educational tool for students and the community,” said Solect Energy’s Vice President of Development Matt Shortsleeve.
The rooftop arrays will produce approximately 3,000 MWh and an expected $525,000 savings in electric savings plus PILOT payments over the next 20 years. The pairing of Solect Energy and PowerOptions has reduced energy costs with over 80 solar or solar + energy storage projects to serve PowerOptions members including cities, towns, schools, state agencies and nonprofits across Massachusetts.
— Solar Builder magazine