Case Histories (Real-World Solutions)

Rooftop Solar Commissioning Cuts Energy Costs

rooftop solar

Kingspan Energy, with financing from the Connecticut Green Bank, has commissioned nearly one Megawatt of rooftop solar at Carmen Arace Middle and Intermediate School in Bloomfield, Conn. completing its largest project in North America to date.

Kingspan installed 2,926 Hyundai panels on the roof of the school. The building covers approximately 170,000 square feet and is the largest energy consumer in the school district. Carmen Arace houses two schools under one roof, serving more than 500 students in grades 5-8.

The solar system will offset more than 80 percent of the school’s electrical use. The power purchase agreement (PPA) will provide a discount of more than 60 percent over the current electric rate and the PPA has a fixed 25-year term. Wayne Casper, director of Facilities at Bloomfield Public Schools, said the project is expected to save more than $40,000 annually in energy costs and $1.1 million over 25 years.

“This project proves how schools and municipalities can utilize state funding sources to realize savings through solar energy, at zero cost to the end-user,” said Gavin Blower, Kingspan Energy general manager.

The sustainability of solar energy along with the rising cost of electricity makes the cost of a solar-powered energy system equal to or less than that of traditional energy sources. This fact, coupled with growing concern over pollution from other energy sources, has made clean and renewable energy an increasingly attractive option for many consumers, including many school districts.

“Kingspan was also great about providing status updates,” Casper said. “With some projects, it can be very hard to get information. Kingspan was terrific about providing continual feedback on timelines and updates to the project.”

This article originally appeared in the School Planning & Management January 2018 issue of Spaces4Learning.