Town Flips Switch On New Solar Array At Sewer Plant

Nantucket Current •


The town has flipped the switch on a new 232-panel solar array at the Surfside Wastewater Treatment Plant that will offset the sewer facility's electric load and provide an estimated $35,000 in annual savings. 

The solar panels were installed over the spring and early summer atop the roof of one of the treatment plant's primary buildings by local solar company ACK Smart Energy.

The sewer plant is Nantucket's second-largest consumer of electricity, the town stated in its announcement. 

The 104.4-kilowatt (DC-kW) rooftop solar array is estimated to generate over 150,000 kilowatt-hours of clean power, offsetting approximately 6 percent of the sewer plant's electric load and 106 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

“We are excited to see the electricity and cost reductions at the Surfside plant," said Nantucket Sewer Department director David Gray. "I thank the MassDEP for supporting this investment, and commend ACK Smart, TotalEnergies, and, most of all, the Town’s Energy, Sewer, and Procurement staff for achieving this outstanding accomplishment after many years of effort."

Sewer Dept. director David Gray and energy coordinator Lauren Sinatra

The solar project was funded primarily by a $200,000 gap energy grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Clean Energy Results Program, which was awarded to the town’s energy office in 2019. MassDEP’s Gap Energy Grant is a grant that fills the funding void in implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

The town stated that with the project’s participation in the Massachusetts SMART solar incentive program, it will generate additional revenue for the Sewer Department to help fund future capital and maintenance projects.

“Today marks a promising milestone in our local efforts to enhance Nantucket’s energy resiliency," said the town's energy coordinator Lauren Sinatra. "Although this first project may be modest in scale, it is symbolic of our larger commitment to energy independence, local climate action, and the long-term sustainability of the island."

The town is also moving forward with a solar project at the Wannacomet Water Company land off Milestone Road. 

To celebrate the new solar array, the public is being invited to tour the facility on Thursday, August 10th at 12:30 p.m., immediately following a private ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring state and local officials.

Click to view the system’s energy production and performance

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