Community-focused nonprofit MetroWest YMCA, in partnership with installer Solect Energy and energy buying consortium PowerOptions, has installed a 144 kW rooftop solar array atop its Framingham, Mass., facility. The array consists of 374 solar PV panels, and MetroWest YMCA anticipates the project will provide up to 13% of the facility’s annual electricity, for a projected yearly savings of more than $10,000.
Programs and services at the MetroWest YMCA’s Framingham 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, as well as reduce energy costs associated with the early education center and wellness areas.
Working closely with YMCA Shared Services, MetroWest selected PowerOptions and Solect’s solar program. Under the program, Solect Energy installed, owns, and operates the solar array and sells the power generated at a fixed rate for a period of 20 years under a power purchase agreement negotiated by PowerOptions.
“The Y believes in the power of relationships and strong community engagement,” says 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.” MacPherson continued, “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,” says Alex Keally, partner and senior VP 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,” says 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.”