The nation’s premier approach to community solar, exhibited with the Sippican Community Solar Garden® Project, receives prestigious 2016 Photovoltaic Project of Distinction Award.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) presented My Generation Energy and Enphase Energy with the award at the Solar Power PV Conference & Expo – Boston on February 24, 2016.
The Sippican Community Solar Garden Project, 912kW, demonstrates a number of unique design features as well as a one-of-a-kind program approach for the purchasers of the output. The project team consisted of My Generation Energy, Inc. (installation and design) as well as Suntility Electric, LLC (Cooperative setup, enrollment and program management).
To improve the effectiveness of the site in Marion, Massachusetts, and reduce project and on-going costs a new microinverter solution from Enphase, the C250, was paired with high efficiency panels. This high voltage microinverter solution eliminated the need to install site mini-transformers, improves the capacity factor of the installation and reduces future maintenance costs. This solution, with it’s simple cabling, also helped speed the project construction during a winter that featured exceptionally harsh conditions for the Northeast.
The purchasers of the output, in the form of net metering credits, from the project include a Cooperative and a local financial institution. The Sippican Community Solar Garden Cooperative leverages the purchasing power of a large group and aids hundreds of community members in receiving substantial direct savings on their electric bills over ten years. From across 23 towns in Southeastern Massachusetts members of the Cooperative span from low-income, to condo owners, to small businesses, families, faith organizations, non-profits and more.
This Cooperative approach continues the success of a program pioneered in Brewster, Massachusetts, with the Brewster Community Solar Garden Cooperative, which was one of the first community shared solar programs implemented in the nation in 2012. The Brewster project, 346kW, was spearheaded by the same project team as the Sippican project, and has consistently exceeded production expectations and was one of the inspirations for the Community Shared Solar designation in the SREC-2 program in Massachusetts that the Sippican project has achieved. My Generation Energy and Suntility Electric are pursuing additional projects of this nature.