Blogs > Power to the People

Following energy issues in the state of Connecticut and beyond.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Con Edison Subsidiary Complete Solar Facility

Consolidated Edison is best known around Connecticut as the company that walked away from a deal to acquire Northeast Utilities more than a decade ago.

But one of areas that New York City-based company appears to have successfully branched out into is developing solar power generation. One of the company's subsidiaries, Con Edison Development, announced Monday that it has begun operating New England's largest solar generation facility in a business park in southeastern Massachusetts.

Con Edison Development installed than 8,000 crystalline silicon panels at the New Bedford Business Park, which straddles the border between New Bedford and neighboring Dartmouth. The panels began generating two-megawatts of power in mid-March.

That kind of generation capacity is enough energy to provide power to 2,000 households.

Massachusetts has seen a spike in development of solar power generation facilities since lawmakers there passed the state's Green Communities Act and Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard of 2008. The statutes allow utility companies to enter into contracts with renewable energy developers and set a mandated, statewide target of 400 megawatts of solar generation.

"This project represents a giant step forward toward creation of an emissions-free environment," said Mark Noyes, vice president of Con Edison Development. "Con Edison Development is proud to be working with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the New Bedford Business Park to reduce greenhouse gases while we promote America's energy independence.”

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

OPEL Solar Makes Another Sale

It has been a busy spring for Shelton-based OPEL Solar International.

The solar power equipment maker announced a deal in late March to sell one of its units for use at an Aquarion Water Co. treatment plant in Shelton. And on Tuesday, OPEL Solar was at it again, announcing it had signed a deal to provide a 95-kilowatt solar generation unit for a waste water treatment plant in Newtown.

The municipally-owned plant is getting $325,000 in grant money from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. The money will be used to cover a portion of the cost of installing the solar panels, according to company officials.

OPEL Solar energy systems have a tracking technology that allows the solar panels to shift as the sun moves in the sky.

The Newtown installation will use single-axis trackers, which result in higher energy production for each photovoltaic panel. That, in turn, provides a significantly lower cost per kilowatt than conventional fixed-panel solar systems.

In the case of the OPEL Solar equipment being installed in Newtown, the ability of the panels to shift and follow the sun increases the project's energy production approximately 28 percent over a traditional stationary array.