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November 16, 2016 CT Green Guide

Stafford adds 3.4MW to net metering program

The town of Stafford has 3.4 megawatts of new solar capacity, following the recent installation of panels at its middle school and on a closed landfill.

The 11,780 panels were installed by Standard Solar Inc., which said the renewable energy will offset all of Stafford Middle School’s electrical use and much of the demand from other municipal buildings.

The school has two 1.3-megawatt arrays, while the landfill has an 848-kilowatt array.

The system is expected to save $4.3 million over 15 years and $12.3 million over 25 years, Standard Solar said.

Connecticut’s virtual net metering program allows municipalities and select other entities to receive billing credits for surplus production from their solar panels and assign them to other utility-metered municipal buildings.

Earlier this year, the legislature added an additional $6 million to the program to clear a backlog of applications from towns that had run up against a cap built into the program.

Lawmakers also authorized owners of agricultural property who lease their property to solar developers to participate in the program. Previously, farmers were required to own their solar systems to benefit from the program.

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