The City of Medford has collaborated with Solect Energy, the state’s leading commercial-scale developer and installer of solar energy systems, and PowerOptions, the region’s largest energy buying consortium, to install a 235 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system on the roof of the City’s new DPW Building. The array consists of 588 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, which are projected to produce approximately 300,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy annually. Medford anticipates the array will generate nearly 100 percent of the DPW’s annual demand for electricity, for a projected first year savings of $11,000.
“The City has been making strides towards our mission of fiscal and environmental stewardship,” said Mayor Stephanie M. Burke. “We are pleased to make these investments in and commitments to our community and remain dedicated to expanding our goal to be carbon neutral by 2050.”
The City of Medford was able to install the solar array with no up-front costs through the Solect Energy and PowerOptions Solar Program. Under the program, Solect Energy financed, installed, and will service the roof-top solar array, while the DPW receives the power generated at a fixed price for a period of 20 years under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) negotiated with PowerOptions.
“At PowerOptions, our mission is to help communities save time and money on energy, so more resources can be directed toward serving the public,” said PowerOptions President and CEO Cynthia Arcate. “We applaud the City of Medford’s forward-thinking approach to energy and resiliency.”
The City of Medford is committed to a region-wide effort towards a carbon neutrality goal by 2050, as part of the Boston Metro Mayors Coalition. As such, Medford has committed to reducing their carbon footprint and doing their part for climate change mitigation under the administration of Mayor Stephanie M. Burke. This leadership is supplemented by the City Council’s unanimous vote supporting the solar initiative last summer.
“Installing solar was always a part of the plan at the new DPW building, as it was constructed to be solar ready,” said Alicia Hunt, Director of Energy and Environment for the City of Medford. “Our partnership with PowerOptions was instrumental in executing projects and we are actively pursuing solar on other municipal buildings as well.”
In addition to the solar array, the new energy-efficient DPW building will be outfitted with an energy storage solution, and a fully functional micro-grid funded by a MA Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative Grant of $700,000. The City’s strategy is to harden the DPW and be resilient to increased potential of electric grid outages and provide continuous service in the event of an emergency.
“Solect commends the City of Medford for their renewable energy and resiliency initiatives,” said Matt Shortsleeve, Vice President of Development at Solect Energy. “We are proud to play a role in this project, and more broadly the City of Medford’s transition to clean and resilient operations.”