City of Keene Department of Public Works, Police Department, and Community Ice Arena – Keene, NH

The City of Keene has taken a huge step forward in their sustainability, installing 2,010 solar panels on the roof of the town complex that houses the Department of Public Works, Police Department, and Community Ice Arena in December of 2018. “This project is part of our work to have all electricity in Keene generated by sustainable renewable energy sources by 2030,” according to Keene Mayor Kendall Lane.

Every year, this 643.2 kilowatt solar array will generate roughly 738,779 kilowatt-hours (kWhs) of electricity, offsetting the equivalent of more than one million miles driven in a gas-powered car, or the carbon that could be sequestered by 416 acres of forests.

The project was financed through a Power Purchase Agreement, allowing the town to go solar at no upfront cost except that for the solar electricity they purchase from the array, and with the option to purchase the system after a period of time.

The array is expected to save taxpayers approximately $3.5 million over the life of the system if the city exercises its future purchase option. The PPA enables Keene to leverage the economic and environmental benefits of solar power while giving the impact partners an opportunity to make community investments that align with their commitment to environmental sustainability.

By the numbers:

System size: 643.2 kilowatts (2,010 solar panels)
System output: 738,779 kilowatt-hours/yr
CO₂ reduction: 777,934 pounds/yr