City Solar Array Deemed Overwhelming Success

SolarRooftopThe 643.2-kilowatt grid-tied solar electric system installed atop Keene’s public works department on Marlboro St. late last year has been deemed an overwhelming success by senior staff in charge of the project.

At a rain-soaked ribbon cutting event held on site Monday, Brentwood, NH-based ReVision Energy spokesman Dan Weeks told a crowded room of officials and residents that “even today, the system is performing well, producing nearly 400kw of electricity for this facility.”

In 2018 the Keene City Council approved a resolution to generate 100% of our electricity from renewable sources, with the plan to reach that goal by 2030. The city’s Energy and Climate committee has been given until December of 2020 to complete that plan.

SolarHoistBut, even before that happens, the city is expected to begin planning on phase two of it’s solarization project. Assistant public works director Duncan Watson said Monday that he expects a request for proposals to install an even larger array at the Dillant-Hopkins Airport will be sent out in the next few months. That array will provide power for the city’s sewage treatment facility, which is the city’s largest user of electricity.

Many in the region have argued that, since the Marlboro Street project has performed so well, it is safe to take a much bolder step and partner with other entities – towns, county government and business – to create a regional micro-grid to support additional facilities and add resiliency to the regional power supply.

SolarRibbon1

Preliminary discussions between the Energy and Climate Committee (ECC) and Cheshire County government officials indicate that a partnership on energy projects could happen soon if senior city staff and council leadership were to adopt a more aggressive agenda.

The ECC has asked mayor Kendall Lane to expand the committee membership in order to invite major stakeholders like the county, school district and colleges to send voting representative to the committee. That proposal will be heard by the Keene City Council Finance Committee Thursday.

350SolarRoofThis particular initiative will go a long way in meeting the 100% by 2030 goal because other energy stakeholders will need to be engaged in the process in order to meet the city-wide goal. And, it makes sense to share resources and plans to maximize the amount of energy savings across the city.

To see what Keene’s solar system is producing, both today and across its lifetime, click here: [https://enjoy.solar/Keene]