Borough board backs solar plan agreement

NAUGATUCK — Borough officials plan to have solar panels installed on the roof of Maple Hill Elementary School.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses last week unanimously approved moving forward with a power purchase agreement with the Greenwich-based Davis Hill Development LLC.

Davis Hill Development will install the solar panels under the state’s Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credit (ZREC) Program.

Under the program, the state pays companies a set rate for every 1,000 kilowatt hours of power generated. The companies then sell the energy to their clients, in this case the borough, under a power purchase agreement.

Robert Butler, the borough’s purchasing and financial analyst, said the borough will pay 7 cents per kilowatt hour to Skyview Ventures, LLC, which is the parent company of Davis Hill Development, under the 20-year agreement.

That’s about 10 cents less than the borough pays now for electricity at the school, said Butler, who previously estimated the borough could save $500,000 over the life of the agreement.

Under the agreement, the company will install and maintain the equipment at no cost to the borough, Butler said. The borough will take ownership of the equipment at the end of the contract.

Butler said officials chose Maple Hill for the project because it receives the most sunlight and its roof was replaced about three years ago.

The work to install the solar panels is expected to be done during the summer when school is not in session, Butler said.