Trustee Don Lowe (left), Trustee Chuck Hughes, Town Administrator Ryan McNutt, Rep. Harold P. Naughton, CEO Michael Ames, Senator Jennifer Flanagan, Trustee Stan Starr Jr., New England Clean Energy CEO Jim Elkind, and two Perkins students.
Perkins Solar Energy System was finalized and celebrated on Friday, October 28 at 11 a.m. when CEO Michael W. Ames cut the ribbon at a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Senator Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster), Representative Harold P. Naughton, Jr. (D-Worcester), Lancaster Town Administrator Ryan McNutt, New England Clean Energy Chief Executive Officer Jim Elkind, Perkins Board President Charles W. Hughes II, Vice President of Perkins’ Trustees and Chair of the Lancaster Board of Selectmen Stanley B. Starr, Jr., two of our students and several employees. The 115.8 kilowatt solar energy system was installed by New England Clean Energy of Hudson, MA. Once National Grid approval is received, the system will be turned on and begin producing 25 percent of the building’s electricity needs.
Michael said, “We are thrilled with the way this project has turned out. Thanks to New England Clean Energy’s engineering and design, the panels fit in perfectly with the architecture of the Janeway Education Center. To have such a good looking installation while also projecting savings of over $580,000 over the next 25 years and having a positive impact on our environment is a big win for Perkins. Together with energy from a community solar project, 90 percent of Perkins electricity needs will soon be produced by the sun, saving us an average of over $80,0000 annually over the next 25 years!”
Perkins Facilities Director Steve Young was praised by Michael for being the driving force behind the project, Clinton Savings Bank President Robert Paulhus, Jr. was also acknowledged. As the ceremony progressed, Senator Flanagan was asked to speak.
“Perkins has always been an innovator in educating children, and they have upheld a commitment to their students’ well-being,” she said. “Now they are taking that commitment a step further by using clean energy to ensure their students will have natural resources for generations to come.”
Rep. Harold Naughton, Perkins CEO Michael W. Ames, a Perkins sixth and seventh grade student, Rep. Jen Flanagan and CEO of New England Clean Energy Jim Elkind cut the ribbon.
“I am always proud and honored to work with the amazing individuals at the Perkins School. Perkins, not only improves the lives of their students, but improves the quality of life for our entire community. This new solar installation is just another step in the right direction and I am proud to take part in it,” Rep. Naughton said.
“Perkins is an inspiration to other non-profit entities. Their emphasis on aesthetics resulted in a solar energy system that is as beautiful as it is functional. The entire team at Perkins was a pleasure to work with. Hopefully, they won’t need us down the road since solar is essentially maintenance-free. But if they do, we’ll be here,” Elkind said.
The 354-panel system is projected to deliver more than $580,000 over 25 years in electricity savings (factoring in inflation) and income from solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs). By producing more than 154,000 kilowatt-hours of emissions-free electricity per year, the Perkins solar energy system will prevent the release of 240,800 pounds of carbon dioxide from fossil-fueled electricity. That is equivalent to taking more than 22 cars off the road a year or the carbon absorbed each year by more than 87 acres of trees.
After the ribbon cutting ceremony everyone gathered in the Manor for cake, fruit and coffee where a time lapse video of the installation was playing. To see the time lapse, click here.