PLYMOUTH — A coalition of energy-minded locals has turned an empty lot in Plymouth into one of the largest solar electric arrays in the state, creating a model partnership for future projects.
The ground mounted 121-kilowatt system consisting of six rows of 440 solar pv panels is online and projected to generate a quarter of the annual electric needs of the Plymouth Village Water & Sewer District (PVWSD), taking a serious chunk out of the District's annual electric bill, which last year totaled nearly $70,000.
"It's been a wonderful partnership with lots of interest and lots of public support," commented Sandra Jones, Director of the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative (PAREI), which, with help from New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC), helped guide the project from concept to completion.
PAREI and PVWSD worked in partnership to secure a $317,000 grant from the state's Renewable Energy Fund administered by the NH Public Utilities Sustainable Energy Division. After filing an initial application in 2012, PAREI and PVWSD were awarded the grant on their second go-around in December of 2013 with a completion goal of December 2014.
"We put together an outstanding team of solar installers to get the work done and the staff at the Water and Sewer Treatment Plant assisted with some of the prep work too," said Jones.
In addition to administering the grant, PAREI provided a local in-house work crew to conduct site work and assist with the assembly of the ballasted solar racking. Mauchly Electric of Plymouth provided installation, grounding and wiring of the solar photovoltaic modules. Frase Electric of Sandwich assisted with the design of the system, installed the inverters and completed all of the AC wiring to the meter that records the Renewable Energy Certificates that are generated by the system. Many New Hampshire businesses also participated or supplied goods for the project including Ashland Lumber, Dekal, Latulippe Construction, Michie Corporation, Needham Electric, Rand's Hardware, Electrical Engineer Lee Consavage and Provan and Lorber Engineer and Planners. The solar panels, racking, ballast and many of the miscellaneous hardware were made in America.
The project cost was further offset by an incentive provided by NHEC, which seeks to support the growth of renewable energy in its service territory via its Social & Environmental Responsibility programs.
According to Scott C. McNeil, NHEC Energy Solutions Program Administrator, the solar array is expected to produce upwards of 145,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. On January 8, – a cold, sunny day – the array generated 446 kWh in a single day. That's enough to power a typical New Hampshire home for a month.
"NHEC is proud to be part of the group that got this project funded and built," McNeil said. "It's a community-based model that works well for municipalities and schools as well."
Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2015 11:40
GILFORD — The Gilford Parks and Recreation Department will be sponsoring a Senior Moment-um program on Monday, January 26th. We will meet at the Community Church, Fellowship Hall at 11:30 am as guest chef, Grace Herbert will be teaching us how to make her famous chocolate mousse brownies! Participants should bring a lunch as they join us for this chocolate treat. Participants must RSVP by January 23.
The department in conjunction with the Gilford Middle School Performing Arts is sponsoring a Dinner and Theatre evening for participants of the Senior Moment-um Program. This activity is scheduled for Wednesday, January 28. Participants will meet in the Gilford High School Lobby at 5 p.m. to enjoy a pasta dinner. Following the dinner we will head into the Auditorium to watch the Middle School's performance of "Willy Wonka Jr.". There is no fee for this program, but space is limited and reservations will be accepted on a first come basis. Participants must RSVP no later than 12:00 noon on Friday, January 23.
For more information or to RSVP, contact the Gilford Parks and Rec. Dept. at 527-4722.
Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2015 11:31
LACONIA — Building managers can reduce operating costs and improve building performance by enrolling in the Building Operator Certification (BOC) course at Lakes Region Community College (LRCC) that starts Friday, February 20.
The 8-day BOC program helps large building operators find cost-effective ways to reduce energy. It is endorsed by New Hampshire's public energy utilities -- Liberty Utilities, NH Electric Cooperative, PSNH and Unitil -- who offer a 50% tuition discount for their New Hampshire commercial and industrial customers.
Topics include building operations and maintenance, energy benchmarking, efficient lighting, HVAC controls and operations, indoor air quality, electrical systems and energy management planning.
The course is taught by LRCC Energy Services faculty who have a distinguished background in facilities management and energy efficiency.
"LRCC's BOC program is a great opportunity for building operators," says Andy Duncan (Concord), PhD, professor and chair of LRCC's Energy program. "We help these building professionals reduce their energy costs.
"Most buildings have multiple opportunities," Duncan notes. "For example, many parking lot lights are now obsolete. They can be cost-effectively retrofitted with super-efficient LED [light emitting diode] lighting. Likewise there are tremendous energy saving opportunities from tuning up air delivery in large buildings."
"Thanks for the great training over the past Fridays," says Scott Lindquist (Durham), Fall 2014 LRCC BOC student. "Lots of great information with involved instructors." Lindquist is Zone Energy Manager at the University of New Hampshire, Durham. Previous BOC classes have drawn building operators from all over the state, including Keene, Merrimack and Portsmouth, in addition to the Lakes Region.
The Spring 2015 BOC program is eight full days, every other Friday from February 20 to May 29 at Lakes Region Community College, Laconia.
Experienced facilities management staff who successfully complete LRCC's BOC course are awarded the nationally recognized Building Operator Level I Certification as well as a LRCC Energy Services Certificate.
Class size is limited. For registration information go to www.lrcc.edu/energy/energy-calendar
For more information contact Duncan, tel. 603-366-5329.
Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2015 11:22
MEREDITH — The inaugural Raymond S. Burton Legacy Fund Dinner will be held Wednesday, February 4 at Church Landing. The event, sponsored by friends and family of the late District 1 Executive Councilor and the Bath Historical Society, gets underway with a reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.
Cost is $250 per person or $1,500 for a table of eight and sponsorship opportunities are available.
Money raised at the event will be distributed to three charities which have been set up to honor Councilor Burton's years of public service.
The charities include:
The Raymond S. Burton Public Service Scholarship at Plymouth State University which requires a $25,000 endowment;
The New Hampshire Community College Scholarship which requires a $10,000 scholarship;
The Raymond S. Burton Museum and Learning Center, a joint collaboration between the Bath Historical Society and Plymouth State College, which will be housed at the Bath Historical Society's building and will develop educational materials for elementary and high schools in Council District 1.
Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2015 11:18
- Plymouth State University partners with Newfound Lake Association to help protect watershed quality
- Volunteer opportunities at LRGHealthcare
- Auditions scheduled for annual School and Community Musical at Newfound
- Curling, snowshoeing programs offered by Gilford Parks and Recreation
- Former Gov. Lynch to receive PSU's Robert Frost Award
- Artists sought for Meredith Sculpture Walk