Athletic facilities have notoriously high operating costs, and don’t have a lot of flexibility to adjust their practices to save money going forward. From complex HVAC systems, to industrial scale lighting, these expansive facilities can be challenging to maintain throughout the volatile New England seasons. Furthermore, many of these facilities are non-profits whose operating margins are slim to begin with, making coping with the fluctuating energy premiums challenging at best. Luckily, many of these facilities also have large, open roofs, making them an ideal fit for a solar energy installation. Below we have highlighted a number of the successful partnerships we’ve formed with arenas, rinks, gyms, and more across New England.
Stonehill Athletic Building
Location: Easton, MA
System Size: 460 kW
Panels Installed: 1,518
Installation Date: January, 2015
Stonehill College has made a continued effort to bolster their sustainable practices over the last several years, with the first among them coming back in 2013, when they added a large solar canopy to help power the school as a whole. After seeing the impact it had on their energy expenses they looked to address the energy costs for one of the biggest draws on campus, their field house.
Long Fellow Clubs
Location: Wayland, MA
System Size: 148 kW
Panels Installed: 564
Installation Date: December, 2014
Owners Laury Hammel and Myke Farricker wanted their business to be “as sustainable as possible,” while also being financially conscious. As a result they decided to take the PPA route to finance their installation, which allowed them to benefit from solar energy without having to make the upfront capital investment. The 148 kW system installed on the roof of the fitness club generates over 180,000 kWh of solar energy annually, covering at least 21% of the club’s electricity needs.
Location: South Hamilton, MA
System Size: 227 kW
Panels Installed: 770
Installation Date: March, 2013
The Pingree school has been an active member in its community since being founded in 1960, and is dedicated to demonstrating responsible and sustainable practices. The Johnson Ice Rink on their campus plays an important part in their athletic program and to the local community, however, the cost associated with running the facility is quite high. In fact, during the summer of 2011, a decision was made to shut down the rink during the summer partially due to the high cost of electricity. Once they realized that solar could solve this issue, they turned to Solect Energy to pursue a PPA installation. The 227 kW array on the roof of the ice rink has resulted in a 50% reduction in their energy costs, allowing Pingree to maintain year round operations of the rink.
Location: Beverly, MA
System Size: 128 kW
Panels Installed: 320
Installation Date: December, 2017
Like most active business owners, Ed Soul, the owner of Beverly Athletic Club, was looking to pursue any avenue to bolster his company’s operations. Having seen the benefits of solar energy in his town, he decided to partnered with our team here at Solect Energy to install a 128 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system on the athletic center’s roof. The solar array consists of 320 photovoltaic (PV) panels and is expected to produce 155,041 kilowatt hours (kwH) of energy annually. The power generated will cover 33 percent of the BAC’s energy needs, and is equivalent to the annual charging of 7,752 electric vehicles or 31,008,200 smart phones. It is projected that BAC will save approximately $233,000 over the course of 10 years.
Location: Norfolk, Marlborough, Taunton, MA
System Size: 888 kW
Panels Installed: 3600
Installation Date: May, 2012
With several expansive facilities and demanding lighting, heating, and HVAC systems Forekicks was faced with a myriad of challenging energy bills and wanted to avoid raising costs for their membership programs for fear of pricing out families in their communities. Forekicks began a commitment to energy efficient green operation across their family of facilities. Solar was the logical next step in their evolution, with their newest facility being built/oriented to maximize their north/south exposure. By installing three arrays across their facilities in Marlborough, Norfolk and Taunton, Fore Kicks add over 880 kW of solar to the roofs of their buildings, to join the energy-efficient lighting systems (LED is being explored) and HVAC systems, and on-site recycling programs. Fore Kicks was able to put their energy expenses in check, and keep their programs affordable.
Location: Framingham, MA
System Size: 144 kW
Panels Installed: 374
Installation Date: June, 2017
For more than 55 years, the MetroWest YMCA, has responded to community needs in the MetroWest area and made a significant impact throughout Framingham and the surrounding towns. MetroWest YMCA anticipates the array will provide up to 13 percent of its facility’s annual electricity, for a projected yearly savings of more than $10,000. The MetroWest YMCA had also been doing its part to become more environmentally sustainable by encouraging recycling, conserving energy with responsible use policies, and LED lighting initiatives. The addition of solar is a significant step forward in the organization’s sustainability commitment.
Clark Memorial YMCA
Location: Winchendon, MA
System Size: 275 kW
Panels Installed: 888
Installation Date: October, 2016
Like most nonprofits, The Clark Memorial YMCA is always looking for opportunities to better serve their members, and as with any large athletic facility their spending on energy was significant. Solar energy presented an opportunity for them to reduce their energy expenditures, and thanks to their relationship with PowerOptions, they had an easy avenue to install a solar array. After pursuing the opportunity the Clark YMCA installed two arrays totaling 275 kilowatt (kW) on the roof of its field house and main building in Winchendon, MA. The solar arrays are expected to cover over 80% of the facility’s annual electricity use, and save the organization over $18,000 a year.
Charles Moore Arena
Location: Orleans, MA
System Size: 345 kW
Panels Installed: 960
Installation Date: August, 2017
Charles Moore Arena (CMA), a nonprofit ice rink in Orleans, MA, faced the same challenges as many of its peers; high operating costs, with tight margins, and unpredictable conditions. Considering the high energy prices in Massachusetts, keeping an ice rink running at optimal levels during the sweltering summer months is no easy task. By collaborating with Solect Energy, CMA was able to install a 345 kilowatt (kW) rooftop solar system at the arena using a PPA financing model, which allowed them to avoid the upfront investment, while still reaping the benefits of solar. The installation will help stabilize and reduce their biggest operating outlay, as the array will cover 50% of their energy demands.