621 Energy developed a 495 kW ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) project at the Hoosac Valley Middle/High School in Cheshire, MA. The system was installed with no up-front cost to the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District. The School District signed a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to purchase all the solar-generated electricity produced by the power plant.
The school serves over 600 students from the communities of Cheshire, Adams, and Savoy. The PV project is connected “behind the meter” at the school and is estimated to produce 569,000 kWh of electricity annually, providing about 75% of the school’s annual consumption.
The completion of the PV project enabled the school district to achieve the following goals without any up-front capital expenditures or on-going maintenance costs:
- Substantially reduce the school’s carbon footprint
- Substantially reduce the electricity cost per kWh
- Stabilize the long-term electricity expense
- Provide an on-site educational tool for the students
- Obtain LEED “Gold” status for the school’s renovation project
The system includes 1,980 Canadian Solar 250-watt modules, 165 DPW Top of Pole High-Wind mounting racks, two Solectria SGI 225 kW inverters, a web-based SolrenView monitoring system and a video monitoring system for security. JM Electrical, Inc. partnered with 621 Energy on the project and performed all electrical installation.
The project was completed on schedule within 9 months of signing the PPA, including all permitting, interconnection approvals, design, construction and commissioning. Challenges successfully met on the project include:
- Aesthetic incorporation of the system into the natural slope of the land
- Installation in an area with ledge and significant boulder obstructions
- Construction within 100 feet of an occupied school building