By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – In a recent press release from Dan Rowley, superintendent of the Water and Sewer Division of Shrewsbury’s Department of Public Works, announced that work has recently been completed on the solar array at the Home Farm Water Treatment Plant at 45 Main St.
The solar array project was part of an improvements project using grant funding from the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection.
In April 2018, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $4 million in state Gap II Grants to water and wastewater facilities for energy efficiency projects and renewable power generation through the Clean Energy Results Program.
The Department of Energy Resources and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center also supported this program.
“The town of Shrewsbury secured a $200,000 State Gap II Grant, which was combined with $27,525 in local funds, to complete the design and construction of a 59.2 kW ground mounted solar array to help offset electricity costs associated with a new water treatment plant,” the press release stated. “The town hired Solar Design Associates to design the solar array and Ostrow Electric to construct it.”
When asked how the array is working, Rowley stated, “The solar array is performing well. I am intrigued at how well the available space was utilized within the limitations of the site. This has proven to be effective in maximizing the size of the solar array while allowing for our normal operations to continue without any interference.
“I am also impressed that the foundation from the former water treatment facility was reused as part of the project,” he added. “New life was given to the old foundation by capping it with concrete so the solar array could be constructed in this area.”
Since going online, the array has generated 22,000 kWh of energy, avoiding 33,000 pounds of carbon emission being released into the atmosphere.
The annual energy produced is estimated at 75,581 kWh with a projected annual energy savings of $10,956.
“This project is a great example of the town’s focus and forward thinking on sustainability and environmental stewardship,” Rowley noted.
Real time data of the array can be viewed at: http://das.solardesign.com/gcdash.php?site=ShrewsburyWaterTreatment.