BERLIN – A new solar array is expected to generate electricity for the town’s substation on Schoolfield Street.
Crews this week were finishing up the installation of a rooftop solar array at the substation on Schoolfield Street. Tim Lawrence, the town’s electric utility director, said the array was expected to save the town about $11,000 a year.
“The system should, if everything goes correctly, it should cover the entire total electric consumption of the facility for the entire year,” Lawrence said.
The town received a $122,375 grant from the Maryland Energy Administration in March to fund a solar array at the substation. The municipality partnered with Carter Machinery, the same company it worked with on its natural gas generator, for the project.
On Wednesday, a crew of five was finishing up the 10-day installation of the array. Morgan Graves, commercial construction supervisor for Solar Energy Services, said the Schoolfield Street site was ideal because of the amount of sun it received. He said the 110-panel system was expected to last 25 to 30 years.
“Annually that’s going to be producing 59 megawatt hours a year,” Graves said.
Lawrence said the project would help the town reach renewable energy goals.
“By 2030, 50% of the purchase power we sell has to come from renewable energy sources — wind, solar, that type thing,” he said. “We’re actually working toward that now so the more solar that is installed, that means the less purchase power we’re having to sell.”
He said that once the system was turned on, staff in the town’s electric department would be able to monitor it with an app.
“We can monitor the output of the system,” he said. “We’ll be able to see that on our computer and on our phone so we can actually tell what each panel is producing.”