Litchfield County Goes Solar

As we enter 2020, sustainability has emerged as one of the most important goals of many places around the world, including in Litchfield, Connecticut. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, renewable energy currently accounts for 11% of primary energy consumption in the nation, with solar making up 8% of that total. This renewable energy production, usage, and consumption is at an all-time high and reflects the global move towards sustainable energy production.
Litchfield County has been looking to improve its facilities to become more environmentally friendly. On November 18, 2019, the Litchfield selectmen began drafting a plan to install solar panels in multiple locations in Litchfield County, and voters at the Litchfield town meeting unanimously approved the plan in December.
Litchfield currently purchases energy from independent sources of solar power at a price of 16.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. An agreement to install solar arrays with Smart Roofs Solar of Monroe will allow future energy purchases to be made at the lower price of 13.1 cents per kilowatt-hour from Madison Energy Holdings.
Under the new arrangement, solar arrays will be installed on the roofs of Center School, carports at Litchfield Intermediate School, and Litchfield High and Middle Schools. This project is estimated to generate 96% of the energy used by Litchfield schools and save $125,000 for the schools over the next 30 years. The construction of the solar arrays is expected to begin this spring at the high and middle schools, and this summer at the Intermediate and Center schools.
The Board of Directors at Litchfield Community Center also chose to make its facilities more sustainable by installing a 38-kilowatt solar system on the roof of the Community Center. This system, created by Earthlight Technologies, is predicted to produce 94% of the Center’s energy annually.
Hotchkiss currently has two solar arrays on campus – at the Grange at Fairfield Farm and on the ‘49 Fields, which generates 33% of the Mars Athletic Center’s electricity. The school has set a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2020, and students can look forward to new developments on this topic.