On December 15, by a 5-0 vote, the Hopkinton School Committee approved a motion to execute a Power Purchase Agreement with Solect Energy Development of Hopkinton. The approval is subject to final review and edit by the Town Counsel, Select Board, Town Manager, and Finance Director of Hopkinton Public Schools.
The proposed project would create two canopies that cover existing parking spaces at the Middle and High Schools. Each canopy has solar panels affixed that send electricity into the school buildings and reduce the amount of power the schools need to buy from Eversource. Solect will collect the excess power generated and sell it to the schools at a discounted rate.
The agreement with Solect will run until 2047, and Solect will bear 100% of the cost of the infrastructure, materials, installation, service, and warranty. The system will be remotely monitored 24/7 at Solect’s offices on South Street.
The estimated savings for two canopies over 25 years is $2,000,000. The schools are projected to save $50,000 in the first year alone. Unlike Eversource, whose rates are adjustable, the agreement with Solect sets a fixed rate.
Alex Keally, SVP and GM of Storage Development at Solect explained there are additional benefits too. “Not only is this a significant investment in sustainability, but it turns a single use parking lot into dual use, and supports good jobs in town.”
The project is expected to start in late June when school lets out, and conclude before students return. Timelines are tight, but Keally is confident they will deliver on-time.
“We’re excited to expand our partnership with Hopkinton Public Schools. We applaud them for their commitment to sustainability, and we’re excited to see projects like this come to life our hometown,” he said.
This project furthers the sustainability initiative at Hopkinton Public Schools. In the video below, HPS Director of Finance & Operations Susan Rothermich and others discuss the Marathon solar roof and battery storage project, the drivers for the project, and the savings the schools are seeing as a result.