NORTH KINGSTOWN – Nexamp, a Mass.-based solar energy company with offices in Providence, will be installing the largest rooftop solar array in New England on two buildings in West Davisville.
The solar panels will be placed on the rooftops of two, 200,000-square-foot buildings at 338 and 342 Compass Circle within the Quonset Business Park. The buildings are privately owned by the West Davisville Realty Co. LLC. Palmer Moore, a developer with Nexamp, said that the massive solar array, consisting of about 8,000 panels, would go largely unnoticed to passersby because it is set back 10 feet from the edge of the roof and the panels are only about 2 to 3 feet off the roof.
“The nice thing about it is that, despite its scale, you would never know it’s there because it’s on a rooftop,” he said of the $6 million project.
After it is installed, the solar panels will generate about 3 million kilowatt-hours each year.
“To put that into perspective, the average household in New England uses about 6,000 kilowatt-hours each year,” said Moore. “That means this project could produce enough energy to power about 500 households a year.”
He anticipates the project to be completed before the end of the year.
According to Moore, Nexamp approached the building owners to lease the space on the roof and that National Grid will purchase the power from Nexamp.
“It works out for the owner because it generates another lease payment from the roof and stabilizes cash flow,” said Moore.
State law requires National Grid to purchase a certain amount of energy from renewable sources each year, this year the company must purchase 20 megawatt-hours of power from either wind or solar energy sources. Next year that number jumps to 30 MWh and in 2014 it increase to 40 MWh.
Palmer said the Quonset project would generate 2.3 MWh towards that goal.
This project comes a year after another solar array project in the Quonset Business Park made headlines last year. Toray Plastics installed a $2 million solar field, consisting of 1,650 solar panels on about 3 acres of land at its North Kingstown headquarters in 2011. That solar array was expected to provide electricity equal to the power use of 100 homes.
Nexamp is a leading independent solar power producer that develops, builds, owns, and operates distributed and utility-scale solar projects. The company has installed more than 175 solar projects across New England totaling more than 16 MWh of solar generating capacity.