Meriden Could Soon be Home to 3 Solar Projects

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Evansville Avenue in Meriden could soon host three sets of solar panels, one of which has already been approved and two that are in the works.

    Middletown-based Greenskies Renewable Energy will break ground within the next few weeks on a 1.2-megawatt solar panel project at the landfill on Evansville Avenue, according to Stephen Montemurro, chairman of the Meriden Energy Taskforce.

    The project has been contracted for 20 years and is expected to save the city between $870,000 and $2.3 million, depending on the cost of electricity, Montemurro said.

    According to Greenskies, the project was first proposed in 2012 and will bring 4,200 solar panels to the landfill.

    The city is reviewing two additional proposals from SolarCity Corp., planned for the Meriden-Markham Airport at 213 Evansville Avenue and the Meriden Water Pollution Control Facility at 226 Evansville Avenue.

    They’ll be fully funded by the California-based vendor and offset by the CT Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credit program, according to Montemurro. Both will operate under 20-year contracts.

    A 1.3-megawatt system would power airport terminal buildings. Excess energy would be sent back to the grid and assigned a dollar value based on virtual net metering credits, which would be used toward energy bills for other public buildings, Montemurro said. The plan could save the city up to $1.4 million.

    The water treatment plant would utilize ground-mounted solar arrays as part of a 323-kilowatt system. Energy generated will benefit the treatment plant and could save the city $328,000, according to Montemurro.

    SolarCity will finance, design, maintain and monitor both projects in exchange for the land on which to build. The city will purchase energy at a fixed, reduced price that will remain constant despite fluctuations in electric rate, Montemurro said.