Going green: Five Trumbull schools to receive solar arrays

By Steve Coulter, Trumbull Times

Trumbull schools are about to get a lot greener beginning next fall.

Greenskies Renewable Energy, one of the nation’s top 10 solar developers, announced last week that it has signed an agreement to design and build rooftop solar arrays on five schools in town.
The five schools include Trumbull High School, Madison Middle School, Hillcrest Middle School, Frenchtown Elementary School and Daniels Elementary Farm School.

Electricity generated by the five-school, 1.5 megawatt project will be used to offset a “substantial portion” of each school’s energy usage and cost, and will save the community “a significant amount of taxpayer dollars” over the 20-year life of the power purchase agreement (PPA) between the town and the company, said James Desantos, Greenskies’ vice president of business development and government relations.

“Best of all, the taxpayers of Trumbull will realize these savings with no investment on the town’s part,” he said.
Under the agreement between the two parties, Greenskies will design, develop, finance, own and maintain the five solar installations for the next 20 years at no cost to the town while Trumbull agrees to purchase 100% of the electricity produced at the sites at a significantly discounted rate.

The five solar arrays will be made up of a combined total of more than 5,000 photovoltaic solar panels.
Construction on the projects is expected to begin by early summer. Greenskies estimates the projected to be completed over the summer and fully operational around the beginning of the school year.

“It’s been a rewarding experience to work with a town that understands the possibilities presented by an investment in solar energy,” Desantos said. “Under the leadership of First Selectman Timothy Herbst and Mark Deming, the director of facilities for the Trumbull Board of Education, Trumbull is at the forefront of the renewable energy revolution among municipalities.”

Deming added that the savings generated by the five solar arrays will be used to make additional infrastructure improvements at the schools.

“The installation of the five PV systems is an integral part of our overall energy program and infrastructure improvements, as we continue to update our HVAC equipment and building envelopes, all to be paid for with the realized energy savings,” he said.

Greenskies designs, builds and maintains solar photovoltaic systems for commercial and industrial clients, municipalities and government agencies, educational institutions and utilities throughout the United States. Solar installations designed and built by Greenskies have now produced more than 85-million kilowatt hours of clean electric power.