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October 17, 2019

Farmington’s Westfarms mall installing $9.2M solar array

Contributed photo Westfarms has begun to erect solar parking canopies, part of an overall $9.2 million investment.

Farmington’s Westfarms mall said it’s investing $9.2 million in a rooftop solar panel array.

Construction on the project has already begun.

In the project’s first phase, panels will be installed on top of new parking canopies in the parking lot. A second phase includes installation of panels on the shopping center’s roof.

Westfarms, managed by the Taubman Co., said the project will benefit from the state’s Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credit (ZREC) program, under which utilities are required to enter long-term contracts to purchase energy from solar systems up to a certain size.

Westfarms expects the 2.7-megawatt system to begin operating early next year. It has a projected annual output of 3.2 million kilowatt hours, approximately enough to power 353 homes.

Expected to reduce the mall’s utility bill by about 20 percent, the solar array, consisting of 6,824 panels, builds on a series of prior and ongoing lighting and energy efficiency upgrades at the mall. 

Westfarms said it has reduced its controllable energy usage by more than 40 percent over the past decade, and is currently continuing those efforts with HVAC improvements and converting parking lot light fixtures to LEDs.

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