Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, the largest ski resort in southern New England, will soon be home to the largest community solar project in the northeastern United States, thanks to the construction by Nexamp of a 2.3 MW solar installation on 12 acres of the facility’s property. This project, along with setting a record for community solar projects, will also allow Jiminy Peak to offset 90% of its annual energy needs with renewable energy, making it “one of the greenest resorts of its kind in the nation.”
Nexamp, a commercial-scale solar energy firm, secured the development rights for this project from EOS Ventures (a division of the Fairbank Group, which also owns the Jiminy Peak resort) earlier this year and is installing some 7,502 solar panels on the property for the estimated $5 to $6 million venture. The 2.3 MW community solar project will sell about half of its power to Jiminy Peak, and the other half will be sold to about 200 individuals and small businesses who opt in to Nexamp’s fee-free “Solarize My Bill” program, saving them approximately 15% on their electric bills.
Jiminy Peak’s share of the energy from the community solar project will save the company between $30,000 and $40,000 each year in electricity costs, and adds to the renewables generated by the resort’s 1.5 MW wind turbine and its 75 kWh cogeneration unit (which provides both energy and hot water to the resort), which will bring the resort to about 90% renewables when the solar project comes online sometime in September. The company hopes to close the rest of the gap by “pushing hard to conserve the other 10 percent of power usage.”
“It’s important to us that we operate our resort as good neighbors and good stewards of the environment, which is why we’ve worked so hard to leverage as many renewable energy sources as we can. We are particularly thrilled to be adding solar energy into the mix in such a way that the neighboring community can benefit from the facility, too.” – Tyler Fairbank, CEO of Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort
According to the Berkshire Eagle, Don Walters, who is Nexamp’s chief development officer, said that this project is one of the last commercial solar projects to go through before the deadline for caps on commercial solar projects, and that the caps have paralyzed the solar energy industry in the state, preventing people from “taking full advantage of the cost savings” and environmental benefits of of renewable energy.
“Solar is truly a community investment. Smart policies like net metering in Massachusetts allow us to work with great partners like Jiminy Peak to meet their sustainability goals, provide local jobs and infrastructure investment, and deliver significant energy savings to neighboring consumers. Leveraging commercial-scale solar facilities to benefit communities is how we’re going to build a stronger, smarter, and more efficient energy economy in Massachusetts and beyond.” – Zaid Ashai, CEO of Nexamp