Borrego Solar and SMA celebrate win at PV America

This post was originally published in 2014. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.

PV America 2014 in Boston gave great reason to celebrate; not only is solar growing wildly across the eastern United States but Borrego Solar and SMA were announced as one of four winners for the PV Project of Distinction Award during the show’s General Session. Celebrating major achievements within our industry, this award focuses on projects that have positively impacted the solar industry in the Northeast.

Presented by the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Solar Electric Power Association, two leading solar advocacy groups, the winning systems were chosen amongst a competitive field of more than 20 finalists. The Plymouth Public Schools system, which brought home the prize for Borrego and SMA, consists of a 5.7 MW solar farm in Massachusetts completed in October 2013.

Plymouth Public Schools operates 13 facilities, serving 8,000 students annually with a staff of 1,350. Due to aging roofs on the schools’ buildings and harsh winter conditions, two ground-mount systems were designed on nearby private property owned by the Plymouth Sand & Gravel Company, thanks to the state’s innovative net metering system.

The larger of the systems features 23,670 solar panels and eight Sunny Central 250-US inverters. In total, the two systems cover more than 23 acres of land, the approximate size of 18 football fields, and produce nearly 953,000 kWh of power each month.

Energy production from the solar farm is estimated to save the school system $400,000 in its first year alone. Carbon dioxide offsets are estimated to be more than 14 million pounds, the equivalent of removing 1,770 cars from local roadways.

Also a finalist for the PV Project of Distinction Award was the Woodchuck Hard Cider system, which received the 2014 Fan Favorite Award based on attendee votes. Recognized for its land-use diversification, it includes 26 Sunny Boy 6000-US inverters. More information about the Woodchuck Hard Cider system is available in a previous blog post here.

Congratulations to all those involved in bringing these systems to life and helping expand the use of solar!

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