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New Hampshire Clean Energy News

RMC’s Stearns Lodge gets a new metal roof, 21 solar panels were installed and a heat pump. (Revision Energy)

Green Energy Times Staff

Associated Grocers of New England Solar Project

ReVision Energys Brentwood, New Hampshire, office is installing what will be the largest rooftop solar array in New Hampshire on a 500,000 square foot warehouse. The array will have 3,400 solar panels and a capacity of 1,292 kilowatts (kW) DC. That will provide a peak of 1,000 kW AC.

The warehouse belongs to Associated Grocers of New England, which will benefit from the reductions in use and costs of electricity from the grid. The array is expected to provide 1,454,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity each year. That amount of electricity generated by fossil fuels would put 1,100 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.

The work on installation is expected to be complete by the end of the summer. The array will provide about 20% of the electricity needed to operate the building. The cost of construction is $2.4 million, of which a quarter can be recovered from federal incentives.

Clean Energy Projects of the Randolph Mountain Club

The Randolph Mountain Club (RMC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1910. Its purpose was to create and maintain trails, camps, and shelters for hikers in the area of Randolph, New Hampshire. In addition to miles of trails, it maintains four shelters on the north slope of Mount Adams. It also keeps Stearns Lodge, a place for the clubs employees to live when they are not on the mountain. The four shelters are not connected to the power grid.

In 2020, RMC started fundraising to provide some of its facilities with solar power. In particular, Stearns Lodge was to be given a heat pump to offset the use of gas for heat. Donations came in from over 110 members. Three organizations, the Tillotson Local Grants Program of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the Thomas W Haas Fund, and the Randolph Foundation, also provided important funding.

Work on the installations began in the spring of this year and should be completed by the end of the summer. Contractors and volunteers worked together on the project. Stearns Lodge needed a new metal roof, and an array of 21 solar panels was installed along with the heat pump.

Also, one of the camps, Gray Knob, already had a small solar array. That array is being replaced. Gray Knob, which is just below the tree line, is normally open year-round, though during the Covid-19 pandemic it has been closed. Because of lack of road access, components are being transported to the site by helicopter.

Fundraising for the RMC solar systems and heat pump is being undertaken in memory of a Randolph resident and RMC member Mike Micucci, who had died in October 2020. He was an active volunteer who tended trails and volunteered for search-and-rescue operations in the mountains.

Stratford Awarded USDA Rural Development Community Grant

Stratford, New Hampshire, has been awarded a USDA Rural Development Community Grant. Part of the grant will be used to finish installation of LED lights at the town hall and the fire station. The change to LED lights is also supported by Eversource, the local electric utility. Another part of the USDA grant will be used to help install a 20-kW solar array on the town hall roof.

Between them, the solar array and the LED lights are expected to reduce the towns electric consumption by 22,185 kWh per year. Producing that amount of electricity from fossil fuels would produce nearly 35,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Buying that much electricity would also cost the town about $38,000 over 25 years.

The town plans to continue its solar project into a second phase, to provide 100% of the electricity it uses. The plan is to construct a ground-mounted, 50-kW solar array at the town’s transfer station.

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