Ameresco, Inc.,, a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company and the Town of Easton, MA, today announced that Ameresco will design, build, own and operate roof-top solar systems at two Easton schools. The systems will include 2,299 panels installed on the roofs of the schools, generating approximately $79,000 in net metering credits in the first year and upwards of $1.24 million over the 20-year term of the agreement for the Town of Easton.
“It’s exciting to see the solar initiatives at our High School and Middle School finally coming to reality,” said David Colton, Easton Town Administrator. “Solar projects like this are not only good for the environment, but for our Town’s bottom line. This project allows us to save over a million dollars in energy expenses over the next 20 years without any capital costs incurred by the Town or our schools.”
The Town of Easton entered into a 20-year solar power purchase agreement (PPA) with the developer, Ameresco, where the Town will purchase the generated electricity at a fixed rate that is lower than it currently pays to National Grid, resulting in annual utility budget savings. Rooftop-mounted solar panels are being installed at the Oliver Ames High School and the Easton Middle School. Once the systems have been completed, they’re expected to generate 16,664,396 kWh over the term of the agreement.
“Ameresco commends the Town of Easton’s leadership for their dedication, commitment and persistence in embracing a renewable energy solution for the schools,” said David J. Anderson, Executive Vice President, Ameresco. “Not only fiscally prudent for the Town, the solar generation provides an excellent learning opportunity for students to experience first-hand, clean energy and sustainable practices as part of their overall education. Easton’s future leaders can benefit from a teaching curriculum based on real-life examples including topics matched with MA Learning Standards for Science and Technology/Engineering Frameworks and MCAS.”
Construction is expected to begin this summer. Once complete, the total installed capacity of the solar systems will be over 700 kW. Annual energy savings for the schools is expected to be nearly 900,000 kWh. In support of the Town’s sustainability goals, renewable generation from the solar systems will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 733 tons annually, the equivalent to removing 122 cars from the road each year.
Selectman Dan Smith said, “Easton continues to drive its energy strategy forward to deliver a strong return on our investment saving tax payer dollars while supporting our commitment to sustainable practices and environmental stewardship."
Designated a Green Community in 2010, Easton is a leader in municipal energy efficiency and cost savings efforts statewide. The Easton Middle School and Oliver Ames High School solar arrays follow many successful energy efficiency projects in Easton, including the Town’s ongoing energy efficiency performance contract and associated improvements to municipal and school facilities which is projected to save $250,000 in energy costs annually, while improving indoor air quality and comfort conditions in the buildings.