, Salem, MA


November 3, 2009

Salem apartments harnessing the sun's energy for power

SALEM — Over the next few months, workers will be installing solar panels on a Salem apartment complex that will have one of the largest photovoltaic arrays in the state.

At the Princeton Crossing apartments, across from Salem Hospital, nearly 2,000 roof-mounted solar panels are expected to generate enough electricity to power all of the common areas in the complex of 17 buildings, including laundry rooms, lounges, outdoor lighting and pumps for the heating system.

"In this economic environment, it's one of the few fun and exciting things happening ," said Kurt Shillington, operations manager at Princeton Properties, which manages the Salem complex.

The new solar array has a 347-kilowatt capacity — "enough to power 80 to 100 small homes on an annual basis, depending on how much electricity they use," said Shillington.

A spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust said it will be one of the biggest solar projects in the state.

Solar panels, measuring roughly 21âÑ2-by-5 feet, are being mounted on the south-facing roofs. Installation will take about two months to complete.

The project was made possible, Shillington said, by a combination of state and federal financial incentives, including grants (some from federal stimulus funds), tax benefits and an incentive to go green with affordable housing, for which Princeton Crossing qualified because 25 percent of its apartments are affordable.

The project will cost $1.95 million, but with the various incentives and rebates — and subsequent energy savings — the company expects to recoup its costs within two years, according to Sarah Greenough, vice president of Princeton Properties.

"(That's) kind of unheard of with solar," she said.

How it works

Electricity generated from the solar panels is fed into the power grid, and Princeton Properties draws from that pool of electricity.

"Their net electricity usage is lowered by the solar photovoltaic system," said Emily Dahl, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, which administers the Commonwealth Solar Rebate Program. The rebate program, launched by Gov. Deval Patrick in January 2008, has awarded more than 1,000 rebates for solar photovoltaic projects like Princeton Crossing, according to Dahl.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
Escaping Email: Inspired Vision or Pipe Dream? US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct US Stocks Plunge, Wiping Out July's Gains Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones All Aboard! LIRR Strike Averted Microsoft to Cut Up to 18,000 Jobs Time Warner Rejects Murdoch's Takeover Bid Yellen Says Economy Still Needs Fed Support Cleveland Expects Economic Boom From Lebron Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Cupcake Shop Crumbs Shuttering All Its Stores San Francisco Prepares for Soda Battle Dow Breaks Record 17,000
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
Comments Trcker