About Our Solar Arrays
As a major step toward accomplishing its sustainability goals and principles, the City of Lebanon began the installation of solar arrays at City-owned sites in 2019 and will continue into the foreseeable future in discrete phases.
In 2019, Lebanon partnered with ReVision Energy to install solar at seven sites: the Kilton Public Library, Landfill Recycling Center, Landfill Maintenance Garage Building, Public Works Administration Building, Public Works Garage, the Police Station, and the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Phase 1 was completed on December 24, 2019. These seven arrays have a total size of 777 kilowatts DC (615 kilowatts AC) and produced roughly 20% of the City’s electric load in 2021.
Landfill Maintenance Garage Solar
The Landfill Maintenance Garage array was taken down in 2020 due to interference issues with certain City communications equipment. The problem was resolved through the use of new inverter technology and the array was reinstalled in late March 2023.
In 2020, the City Manager approved funding for two additional arrays to be built on the newly renovated Civic Memorial Field Maintenance Garage on Aldrich Avenue and the Valley Cemetery Building on Mascoma Street. Both buildings were renovated with almost optimal roof angles for solar. The buildings were finished in late 2021 and Catamount Solar of Randolph, Vermont won the bid for solar installation. The array sizes are 27 kW DC for the Valley Cemetery Building and 24.5 kW DC for the Civic Memorial Field Maintenance Garage. The city is working on Wi-Fi accessibility to these buildings to allow remote monitoring of their solar production.
In July 2022, City Management approved a plan to develop another large phase of solar on up to 30 city-owned sites throughout Lebanon. The objective of the Phase 3 solar project is to meet as much of the City’s electrical needs through solar as is cost-effective. At the same time, legislation was passed in 2022 (NH Senate Bill 321) that could allow Lebanon to produce more electricity than the municipality itself needs through its solar and landfill gas projects and make that power available to governmental or non-profit entities in the City. This process may be managed through Lebanon Community Power if the two projects come to fruition in a coordinated manner. As of Spring 2023, we are waiting for the NH Public Utilities Commission to resolve certain jurisdictional issues in the SB 321 legislation before we can proceed.
At the recommendation of Assistant Mayor Clifton Below, the Phase 3 solar project is being designed to take into account major changes that are anticipated in the cost structure of electricity. Throughout New England and the entire Northeastern U.S. large solar arrays are being developed to help America to address climate change and transition off fossil fuels. These solar arrays are generally built in fixed-rack structures - immovable and facing south. Because these arrays all produce peak amounts of electricity in the middle of sunny days, the value of that solar will decrease as more and more is produced. To avoid this problem, the City is considering the installation of tracking solar arrays that follow the sun’s trajectory across the sky each day. This will allow the City to produce power when other solar arrays do not – early morning and late afternoon into the evening. Total production from each panel will be as much as 40% higher, and tracker arrays dump snow and ice, so winter electricity production is much greater than from most fixed arrays.
For more information, please contact Tad Montgomery, Energy and Facilities Manager, at 603-442-6140 or email Tad.Montgomery@lebanonnh.gov
Track the City’s Solar
You can view the performance of Phase 1 solar arrays by clicking on each site below. Phase 2 and 3 solar sites will be added when available.