Greenskies Breaks Ground on 5-Megawatt Solar Project

Press Release | East Lyme, CT
August 16, 2016

Construction began this month on a solar photovoltaic project that will become one of the largest solar projects in New England upon its completion.

Middletown-based Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC plans to build a 5-megawatt solar energy installation on a 43-acre tract of land near the intersection of Grassy Hill and Walnut Hill Roads, said Michael Silvestrini, Greenskies’ president. The solar array will occupy about 35 acres of the 43-acre site.

Greenskies was awarded the project as the result of a competitive bidding process conducted by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, or DEEP. The state's RFP, or request for proposals, attracted bids from 21 competing energy companies, including most of the solar industry’s largest firms. Of the proposed projects, Greenskies’ proposal was ranked first in each of the eight categories on which the projects were judged. It was also rated as the lowest cost solar project.

The project, which will not be visible to passing pedestrians or vehicular traffic, will consist of more than 16,000 photovoltaic solar modules mounted on a fixed aluminum racking system. It will be capable of producing enough energy to power about 850 New England households for a full year according to the Energy Information Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Another way of looking at it: there are about 6,312 households in East Lyme, according to the state Department of Economic and Community Development website. “Given that data, the solar project we’re building off Walnut Hill Road will be capable of powering about 14 percent of all the homes in the town in any given year,” Silvestrini said.

The Connecticut Light & Power Co. and United Illuminating Co. will jointly purchase the electricity generated by the project under a 20-year power-purchase agreement, or PPA, he said.

The project, which is being built by Middletown-based Centerplan Companies, is expected to be completed within six months, weather permitting, Silvestrini said.