The Clark Memorial YMCA recently teamed up with Massachusetts-based solar company Solect Energy and energy-buying consortium PowerOptions to install two solar energy systems totaling 275 kW on the roof of its field house and main building in Winchendon, Mass. The solar arrays are expected to cover over 80% of the facility’s annual electricity use and save the organization over $18,000 a year.
“As an organization that promotes social responsibility, we felt it was important for us to do our part to help reduce our impact on the environment,” said Mike Quinn, executive director of the Clark Memorial YMCA. “We wanted to lead by example, and solar was a very appealing avenue that offered a number of benefits that we could be proud to be a part of.”
“As a longtime customer of PowerOptions, we were immediately interested in exploring this new opportunity in solar. When we met with the PowerOptions and Solect Energy teams, they took the time to get to know us – and to want to partner with us – not just sell us something. That was important to us,” he added.
Clark Memorial YMCA and Solect entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA), under which Solect owns and operates the solar array and sells the power generated back to the organization at a reduced, fixed rate for a period of 20 years.
“We’re excited to work with Clark YMCA to bring clean energy to the community and also help the organization achieve substantial energy cost savings,” said Alex Keally, vice president of business development at Solect. “When you look at the savings over the course of the PPA, that’s real money that the Clark Y can invest back into their programs and the community.”
In addition to this project, the Clark Memorial YMCA is also considering exploring further renewable energy initiatives, with the hopes of building a new youth center on campus powered by solar energy, as well as exploring ways to implement solar heating for its swimming pool and water supply.