Town of Newfields Water & Sewer Department – Newfields, NH
The Town of Newfields’ 216 panel solar array in a ground mount at the Water & Sewer Department District Plant Grounds is helping preserve the environment and save money for the town. Each year, the system will generate roughly 92,940 kilowatt-hours (kWhs) of electricity, offsetting the equivalent of driving over 169,500 miles in a gas-powered car.
The town financed the array through a Power Purchase Agreement to allow them to install it at no upfront cost to the town. The array is expected to save taxpayers roughly $530,000 over the life of the system if the town agrees to a purchase option that becomes available in year seven of the agreement. The PPA gives the municipality the ability to leverage the economic and environmental benefits of solar power while allowing ReVision Energy the opportunity to make community investments that align with its core values of creating positive change in the world.
The Town of Newfields values the environment and has a Conservation Commission that is actively looking for ways to protect Newfields’ forests, wetlands, and recreational areas. “The Newfields Village Water and Sewer District is excited about the opportunity to benefit from solar energy at our facility,” said district commissioner Catherine Nelson. “It is our hope to serve as a leader in the clean energy movement as a result of lowering our town’s carbon footprint and in turn lowering northern New England’s reliance on fossil fuels.”
Water and wastewater treatment plants often represent the largest electricity users in a given municipality and, therefore, provide the greatest opportunity for energy savings. These facilities are ideal locations for solar energy systems due to the availability of rooftops or open land and the existence of robust electrical equipment that can support large-scale solar electric systems without expensive utility upgrades.
The solar array has a useful lifespan of 40 years and is expected to generate nearly 100% of the wastewater treatment plant’s electric load.