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Representatives of the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority (RWA) and SolarCity gathered to celebrate the completion of a large one-megawatt solar array at an RWA facility in Hamden on Friday, April 25, 2014. The ground-mounted solar system includes more than 4,000 solar panels—making it one of the largest in the state. SolarCity installed, financed and will maintain the array for the Regional Water Authority. The RWA will save money by paying less for the solar power than they’re currently paying for utility power—while reducing both pollution and water use.
“This solar photovoltaic system, one of the largest of its kind in Connecticut, will allow the Authority to be more efficient and lower our energy costs. These savings are passed on to our customers in the form of reduced rate increases,” said Larry L. Bingaman, the Regional Water Authority’s President and CEO.
The 1-megawatt ground-mounted system is expected to provide more than 1.4 million kilowatt-hours of energy each year—enough to power more than 150 average-sized Connecticut homes. The project supports the RWA’s strategic goals of operating more efficiently and promoting environmental sustainability and fosters the Town of Hamden’s “Clean and Green” initiative. In keeping with the RWA’s sustainability goals, the project will reduce RWA’s carbon footprint by 1.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually. That is the equivalent of planting 22,600 trees.
The array is comprised of 332 strings of 13 panels each and will provide over 80% of the energy used at the water treatment facility, or enough to power more than 120 average-sized Connecticut homes.
The system is the culmination of two years of effort. It was made possible through the CT Renewable Energy Credit Program, in conjunction with United Illuminating, the Town of Hamden, SolarCity, and a dedicated staff of professionals.
The Regional Water Authority is a not for profit organization supplying water and related services to about 430,000 consumers in 15 communities in the region. The RWA owns and protects over 27,000 acres of watershed land and provides a wide array of educational and recreational opportunities to the 20 communities in its district.