The Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC) and Norwich Public Utilities (NPU), in partnership with SolarCity and Brightfields Development, opened the largest solar and energy storage system in Connecticut in August.
The 4.7 megawatt Mountain Ash Solar Farm includes more than 15,000 solar panels over 15 acres on the former Stott Family Farm. The system is expected to produce enough solar energy over the next two decades to power more than 8,400 homes for a year.
The energy storage system installed at the Mountain Ash Farm is SolarCity’s first project to utilize its proprietary GridLogic control platform to provide capacity services to a utility. The 750 kilowatt energy storage system will provide up to 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity. SolarCity is providing engineering, installation, and maintenance of a battery storage system, which through the Gridlogic platform, allows CMEEC to remotely and instantaneously dispatch stored solar energy in the event of increased demand or large-scale power outages in its service territory.
Under the terms of the 20-year solar purchase power agreement with SolarCIty, CMEEC will utilize the clean solar energy produced at Mountain Ash Farm. The energy storage system, also financed by SolarCity, will allow CMEEC to pay a fixed-rate for capacity, which lowers its operating costs and helps keep prices stable for its member organizations and their customers.
NPU will now provide its customers with solar power as part of its current electric service and without an additional charge. When added to NPU’s existing hydropower capabilities, the NPU energy portfolio is now nearly 20% renewable.