Allenstown set to begin second solar project

  • The Allenstown Community Center. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Friday, November 24, 2017

Allenstown is readying to embark on its second municipal solar project.

The select board has approved a power-purchase contract with New Hampshire Solar Garden, a Portsmouth-based company, to install solar panels on the town community center’s roof. Installation could happen before winter, but will most likely take place in the spring, Town Administrator Shaun Mulholland said.

According to the deal, the town commits to purchasing electricity from the company for the community center for the next 20 years. The company, in turn, locks the town into a discounted rate – 10 percent less than the going wholesale rate. There’s no cost for installation or the panels themselves, which remain the property of N.H. Solar Garden.

Allenstown should save about $25,000 in electricity costs over the life of the system, Mulholland said.

A similar system was installed at the town fire station, also with N.H. Solar Garden. It went online Sept. 1 and has been performing well, he said.

“In October, we produced more than expected in energy,” Mulholland said.

Town officials are actively exploring where else they could install panels. The town office and police station aren’t good candidates right now because the roofs are too old, Mulholland said, but the town might consider ground-mounted systems.

The town has also switched over to LED lights at the fire station, which are more efficient than traditional incandescent lights.

(Lola Duffort can be reached at 369-3321 or lduffort@cmonitor.com.)