WILMINGTON >> Cost savings and cleaner energy are cited as reasons behind the Hermitage Club's move to solar.
The 20-year power purchase agreements for energy will involve construction of five new solar farms by 2016. Two of the sites will be on Hermitage property, but all of them are expected to power up to 90 percent of the company's private ski resort operations at Haystack Mountain and maybe more.
Hermitage Club owner and founder Jim Barnes has been talking about the possibility of the project with SolarSense, an affiliate of Alternative Energy Development Group, for nearly a year.
"It's something that's been a priority to Jim (Barnes) and the Hermitage Club," said Meredith Morin, director of communications for the Hermitage Club. "There's so many interesting things about it."
All five sites are expected to produce an amount of energy that is greater than 2,900,000 kilowatt hours annually while reducing the carbon dioxide equivalent of 2,000 metric tons a year or 2,147,000 pounds of coal burned. Two 150kW projects will be located at the resort and three 500kW projects will be off premises.
"We will first be applying production credit to the Hermitage Club's Haystack (operations) and its large electrical consumption," SolarSense founder and CEO Chris Fraga said. "We will then apply additional production to the other various properties owned by Hermitage until we use up all of the production and credits that we are generating."
Fraga was referring to properties which include a golf course and airport. If all the solar farms are successfully developed, he believes the additional properties could be powered through the efforts. He said the third-party landowner sites are already under development.
"The total cost of the solar farms is in the $6 to $8 million range, depending on the final number of sites constructed," he said.
Design, planning and vetting for the Hermitage sites is currently underway. Fraga is looking at a location on the north side of an existing ski trail that follows the contour of the trail and a place above an existing water retention basin that would be elevated in a way to not interfere with the basin.
Permitting and utility approval is expected in the spring then construction would occur through the summer and fall.
"The hope is to be online and using this power by the end of 2016," Morin said, mentioning that she's heard "a few other rumblings on the horizon" for future clean energy plans such as electrical charge stations for cars.
SolarSense also has projects with the state of Vermont and several commercial clients. But the Hermitage project is one of the only groups using the credits rather than selling them, Morin said.
"We have elected not to sell those. It is total green power," she said. "I think it's such a huge commitment to the environmental sustainability of the area and really taking into account the way we, as a club and as Vermonters in general, consume energy and the way we're trying to find ways to be kinder in our consumption."
The ski resort alone has five lifts to receive power from the solar farms. SolarSense will develop, own and operate the projects while KRN Solar will design, engineer and construct them. Several Vermont-based professional service firms and trades groups are expected to contribute to the projects, which will generate new local municipal and state taxes.
Contact Chris Mays at email@example.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.
SolarSense is proud to announce the commissioning of Truss Engineering's Solar PV PPA on September 1st, 2015. Founded in 1961, Truss Engineering Corporation is the leading manufacturer of wood roof and floor trusses in the western and southern New England regions. Truss Engineering has earned a reputation, backed-up by independent industry inspection, of making the highest quality products available on the market. Truss Engineering and SolarSense are excited about their 20-year PPA and relationship.
Allen Harim breaks ground on a multi-million dollar solar project at its Harbeson facility. Six acres of land next to the Allen Harim facility in Harbeson will be dedicated to solar energy panels which will save the plant about 16 percent in energy costs. Chris Fraga is the CEO of Alternative Energy Development Group and explains the project.
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Allen Harim Foods on Monday broke ground Monday on a solar farm planned for construction near its Harbeson poultry processing plant.
The 1.57-megawatt photovoltaic solar panel array is expected to supply about 11 percent of the energy used by the plant.
“This project is in line with our strategic goals of environmental sustainability moving forward in Delaware,” Allen Harim CEO Steve Evans said in a release.
The company recently signed a 20-year lease agreement with project developer SolarSense, an affiliate of Alternative Energy Development Group of Berwyn, Pa.
Under the deal, Allen Harim will buy the 2.3 million kilowatts of power produced by the solar farm each year, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 1,616 metric tons, company officials said.
“This project is projected to save Allen Harim 16 percent in energy costs during the first year of operation, said Chris Fraga, CEO of Alternative Energy Development Group.
The solar array will stretch across about 450 yards of a 6-acre parcel near Allen Harim’s Harbeson plant off Harbeson Road (Del. 5). Construction will take about three months, weather permitting, company officials said.