Brewster Inks Solar Deal – Construction Starts this Week by Rich Eldred

Brewster Inks Solar Deal – Construction Starts this Week

By Rich Eldred

Cape Codder; October 24th 2011

Brewster is on the verge of approving zoning rules for solar arrays (Articles 16 and 17 on the Nov. 7, town meeting warrant) but they’ve inked a lease for a two-acre solar panel array on land at the Water Department off Freeman’s Way.

The lease is for 30 years and was signed with My Generation Energy of Dennis.

“We arranged it like any other business in the industrial park area,” explained Luke Hinkle, President of the company, which is based on Great Western Road. “We’re paying them an annual lease. The energy will be provided to the grid. The net metering credits go to the members of the co-op; the Brewster Community Solar garden Cooperative.”

The cooperative is open to Brewster residents and businesses only and shares are still available.

“So when you sign up for the cooperative you get networking credits for five years that will exceed the price. After five years the cooperative can reinstate the deal or purchase the system,” Hinkle said.

The town will receive $12,000 for the first lease payment and that figure will escalate annually.

The array will cover about two acres and My Generation is also leasing some additional land for an access road. It will be built to the left of the Water Department, where there’s a field, to limit the amount of tree clearing.

“We will revegetate with native species underneath and around the panels so there is not bare ground,” Hinkle said. “It will be like the under story of the forest. There will be ferns underneath and huckleberry between the rows.”

The 1,440 panels will be two-feet off the ground in front and seven feet high in back, tilted towards the sun. Each group of 20 panels constitutes a sun share, which will produce $90 of electricity a month. The project will generate $400,000 kilowatt-hours a year.

“That’s realistic over the course of a year,” Hinkle said. “We’ll start construction (this) week. It will be up by January or February. The parts are on the way and it is permitted. We’re still selling shares in it.”

The sun shares go for $5,000 apiece and Hinkle guarantee’s $5,500 in electricity credits, at a minimum, over the five years.

Anyone interested can call 508-694-6884.

Read more: Brewster inks solar deal – construction starts this week – – The Cape Codder

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