On December 4, 2010, at 10:30 AM, the town of Canterbury officially “flipped the switch” that activated the three solar power systems that will provide almost 50 percent of the total electrical power for three of the town’s key buildings: The Sam Lake House (Town Offices), The Elkins Library, and the Municipal Building (which houses the town’s police department, fire department, and highway department).
The event was part of an open house at the Municipal Building (26 Baptist Road), where over 100 Canterbury residents enjoyed a demonstration of the system, a running slide presentation of the construction process — as well as hot dogs, popcorn, beverages, and music provided by the Belmont High School jazz band.
The project was funded through the federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program administered through the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning. The solar installation in Canterbury was the first to start construction through this program in the state.
The total cost of the project was $241,500. The annual savings on energy costs for the Canterbury taxpayer are estimated to be approximately $8000+ in the first year alone, based on 2009 electrical cost numbers. Those savings will increase as electric utility rates increase. The system will provide approximately 35kW of electricity at peak production and can be expanded easily should the town so choose.
Just a few weeks prior to the official dedication of the system on December 4, over 200 students from the Shaker Regional School District experienced a tour and demonstration of the Canterbury system during two special “education days” at the site. Presenters provided students with an educational presentation about photovoltaic energy production, as well as outlining the growing employment opportunities in the field of alternative energy and the economics involved in planning and installing a residential solar array.Excerpted from: New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association, 54 Portsmouth Street, Concord, NH 03301. NHSEA