Town of Darien Solar Panel Installation
The Town of Darien Goes Solar
The Town of Darien has completed the physical installation of three out of an eventual six solar photovoltaic systems on town rooftops.
The solar panel installations at the Police Station, the Department of Public Works Garage, and Town Hall will begin generating electricity any day now. Work is commencing on three additional rooftop systems at Board of Education buildings this month eventually including rooftop systems at Tokeneke School, Holmes School, and the Board of Education Administration Building.
These six systems will increase the town’s Class 1 renewable energy generating capacity by 544 kilowatts producing an estimated 609,933 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. According to an EPA calculator, this will offset the equivalent of 539 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, which is roughly equivalent to the emissions released by the consumption of 55,000 gallons of gasoline or a passenger car driving 1,200,000 miles.
The systems were designed and constructed by Encon; they were financed by, and are owned by, the Connecticut Green Bank. The town paid nothing to have the systems installed and has agreed to purchase power from the Connecticut Green Bank at a fixed and flat rate of $0.062 per kwh of electricity produced for the next twenty years. This is less than the rate that the town currently pays for its power, which varies and usually increases annually. As such, the power purchase agreement is estimated to save the town around $40,000 in its first twelve months of operation and around $1,300,000 over the life of the twenty year contract.
The new systems will bring the total number of solar PV system installations on town buildings to eight as there are systems on the rooftops at the Darien High School gym and Ox Ridge School installed about ten years ago that have the capacity to generate about 100 kilowatts of electricity.