Kingspan Energy, with financing from the Connecticut Green Bank, has commissioned nearly one Megawatt of rooftop solar at Carmen Arace Middle and Intermediate School in Bloomfield, Conn. completing its largest project in North America to date.
The company 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”.
The sustainability of solar energy along with the rising cost of electricity makes the cost of a solar-powered energy system equal to or less than that of traditional energy sources. This fact, coupled with growing concern over pollution from other energy sources, has made clean and renewable energy an increasingly attractive option for many consumers, including many school districts.
“The Connecticut Green Bank is excited to have worked with Kingspan Energy and the Bloomfield Public Schools to bring this project to fruition,” said Connecticut Green Bank President and CEO Bryan Garcia. “Not only will the solar PV system on the Carmen Arace School provide significant cost savings but it also serves as a great example of how renewable energy is increasingly being embraced by municipalities and businesses across the state.”
Work started on the project in early June near the end of the school year, and workers wrapped up the project in late July.