The Town of Woodbridge is considering installing solar panels on the Town’s closed landfill on Acorn Hill Road. The Town of Woodbridge, through the law firm Murtha Cullina, released a Request for Proposals seeking developers interested in installing a two megawatt ground-mounted solar project. This project would meet most of the Town’s electrical needs and would provide the Town with clean energy and predictable electric rates.
Attorney Paul Michaud of Murtha Cullina will help the Town submit a bid for renewable energy credits through United Illuminating. Those credits would be sold to the solar installer. Michaud also helped the town negotiate the microgrid agreement with United Illuminating.
“I initiated this project to take advantage of solar technology and the opportunity to lower the Town’s electric bills and our carbon footprint,” said First Selectman Ellen Scalettar. If the Town moves forward with a solar installer, the Town would most likely enter into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in which the Town does not pay any money up front, but agrees to pay a set amount of money per kilowatt used. The solar installer would own and maintain the solar panels for the duration of the PPA.
The Town has already taken steps to lower energy bills and use by switching from oil heat to natural gas. The Town’s elementary school, Beecher Road School, is currently undergoing an energy-focused renovation that will make the school more energy efficient. The school project also includes solar panels.
Additionally, Woodbridge has plans to create a municipal microgrid to provide electricity to Town buildings during power outages. The Town is partnering with United Illuminating which will purchase and install a fuel cell in Woodbridge that will feed energy into the grid under normal circumstances and will power the microgrid when the power goes out.
Under this microgrid arrangement, the Town is free to explore alternative energy sources to power municipal buildings during normal circumstances.