Largest municipal solar array in the state now fully operational

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Manchester Solar Array scaled
Manchester’s solar array on Dunbarton Road is now fully operational. Courtesy Photo

MANCHESTER, NH – The city’s newest solar array is operational after more than two years of preparation and planning.

This project is now the largest municipal solar array in the state with more than 8,000 panels that will supply 3.8 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy to the power grid on an annual basis.

Covering 12 acres of underutilized land at the former Dunbarton Road landfill, the solar array is expected to offset more than 2,700 metric tons of CO2 per year-equivalent to the emissions from burning three million pounds of coal.

“We began this project back in 2018, and after years of planning I’m thrilled to announce the solar array is operational,” said Mayor Joyce Craig in a news release on Tuesday. “The electricity produced by these solar panels will be enough to power hundreds of homes annually across the city. I want to thank the hard work of the Manchester Department of Public Works and our partners, for their commitment to this project.”

Added Tim Clougherty, Deputy Public Works Director for the city, “The Department of Public Works is proud to be part of another sustainable initiative. When coupled with energy efficiency initiatives, Energy Star compliance, and participating in the EPA Better Buildings Challenge, this project represents the latest example of the City’s forward-thinking regarding conservation.”

In September 2021, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm visited the site, praising the decision to place solar panels on non-productive land.

Key partners in this project, in addition to the Manchester Department of Public Works, include Kearsarge Energy, Competitive Energy Services, AEGIS, and Kingsbury Co.

Over the past few years, the city has made continued investments in clean energy. This includes adding energy-efficient buses to the Manchester Transit Authority fleet, cutting emissions from diesel buses by 96 percent and converting city lights to LED, reducing the city budget, and eliminating 2,000 tons of CO2 emissions.

Below, drone footage of the solar array from Oct. 2021.


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