Framingham, MA MetroWest YMCA has partnered with Solect Energy and PowerOptions to install a 144 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system on the roof of its facility. The array consists of 374 photovoltaic (PV) panels, which are projected to produce 154,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy annually. That is enough energy to charge 7,700 electric vehicles or 30.8 million smart phones annually. MetroWest YMCA anticipates the array will provide up to 13% of its facility’s annual electricity, for a projected yearly savings of more than $10,000.
Programs and services at the MetroWest YMCA’s location positively impact thousands of children and families each day. The solar array will help to defray energy costs associated with temperature control and operating the indoor pool, and also reduce energy costs associated with the early education center and wellness areas.
Working closely with YMCA Shared Services, MetroWest selected PowerOptions & Solect’s solar program. Under the program, Solect Energy installs, owns, and operates the solar arrays on the YMCA’s roof, and sells the power generated at a fixed rate for a period of 20 years under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) negotiated by PowerOptions.
“The Y believes in the power of relationships and strong community engagement,” said Rick MacPherson, president and CEO at MetroWest YMCA. “Solect Energy’s expertise and track record coupled with their commitment to local philanthropy, made them a perfect fit for our YMCA. We see Solect not only as a trusted solar provider, but as a true community partner. We were introduced to PowerOptions through YMCA Shared Services based upon their experience serving the energy needs of many of the area’s Y’s. Both organizations have been invaluable resources for us.”
PowerOptions also provides the MetroWest YMCA with electricity and natural gas supply.
The MetroWest YMCA had been doing its part to become more environmentally sustainable by encouraging recycling, conserving energy with responsible use policies, and LED lighting initiatives. The addition of solar is a significant step forward in the organization’s sustainability commitment. In addition to this project, the MetroWest YMCA is also exploring future projects that can be powered by solar energy.
“MetroWest YMCA was interested in employing solar energy for a number of compelling reasons,” said Alex Keally, partner and senior vice president of business operations at Solect Energy. “They wanted to do their part for the environment, be an example to their members, and reduce energy expenses. All three goals have been accomplished, with the added benefit that savings from the solar array can now be redirected into the valuable programs they offer to the community.”
“At PowerOptions, our mission is to help public entities and nonprofits to save money on energy, so more resources can be directed toward serving our communities,” said PowerOptions president and CEO Cynthia Arcate. “In addition to cost predictability and savings, MetroWest YMCA implemented their solar project without the need for any upfront costs or ongoing maintenance responsibilities.”
PowerOptions is a nonprofit energy buying consortium that delivers cost savings and predictability to nonprofits and the public sector in New England. Headquartered in Boston, PowerOptions serves its nearly 500 members with electricity, natural gas and solar, with combined annual energy sales of approximately $200 million. With a 95 percent member retention rate, a proven supplier selection process and a dedication to personalized customer service, PowerOptions provides programs, services and solutions that educate and bring value to its membership. Established in 1998, any nonprofit or public institution in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut is eligible to participate in this collective purchasing effort. For more information, visit www.poweroptions.org or follow on Twitter at @PowerOptions.
Solect Energy is a full-service solar photovoltaic (PV) project developer and installer based in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, delivering smart solar and energy management solutions to help businesses and organizations reduce energy costs. As an industry leader in commercial-scale solar energy, Solect takes a practical approach to the development, installation and on-going support of each system. We partner closely with our customers, providing strong financial insight and solar technology expertise to optimize their investment while creating a positive impact on the environment. Solect currently has installed over 65 MW (megawatts) of commercial PV systems, with a primary focus on commercial, light industrial and institutional properties in New England.