Solar array on landfill in Derry, N.H. will be one of state’s largest at 2.2 MW

Derry, NH’s unused capped landfill is the site for town’s new 2.2 MW solar array

A solar array to be developed by Encore Renewable Energy in Derry, New Hampshire, will be one of the state’s largest at 2.2 MW. Encore will finance, design, construct, install, operate, and maintain the ground mounted solar project. Derry Solar will be located on a closed and capped municipal solid waste landfill owned by the Town of Derry. Once complete, the solar project will help the Town realize an estimated $3.5 million in energy savings over the project’s 25-year contract and help meet the Town Council’s goal for 100% renewable energy for the Town of Derry two years ahead of its original goal of 2025.   

​​”Moving forward with this solar project is a major win for our community and our state,” said Joshua Bourdon, Derry Town Councilor-at-Large and Net Zero Task Force Founder. “I ran for re-election with a promise to reduce our taxes while maintaining services through creative solutions. Achieving Net Zero Energy through the efforts of the Task Force and Derry Public Works Dept. contributed to that creative solution.” 

“This project is the culmination of 6 years of planning and engineering work performed by the volunteers of the Net Zero Task Force,” explained Chairman Jeff Moulton. “In advance of this project, the Task Force benchmarked the energy use of all 40 town and school buildings, implemented a number of energy initiatives that are currently saving the Town over $900,000/year, and in 2018 installed an 86-kW solar project at the Town’s transfer station, currently performing above its expected output.”

This project was started over two years ago by the Derry NH NetZero Task Force, a collaboration of professionals, business people, energy experts, and local groups such as schools, the town’s Public Works department, the Planning Board, Code Enforcement, the Conservation Committee, and Economic Development. The group collaborated on messaging and community advocacy while supporting the required state legislative action and obtaining buy-in from Governor Chris Sununu.  

Encore Renewable Energy was selected from a group of seven firms through a competitive Request for Proposal bidding process solicited by the Town of Derry in September 2021. In addition to the energy savings for the town, the solar project will be built with no upfront costs to the community. The site also offers the potential opportunity for project expansion in the future.

“Encore provided the best value power purchase agreement (PPA) proposal for the Town, “ said Mike Fowler, Executive Director, Derry Public Works. “As a future partner, Encore brings experience and technical expertise to successfully develop this type of project. The favorable economics and experience with landfill solar development were the most important factors in awarding the contract to Encore.”

Encore brings over a decade of experience in brownfield and landfill redevelopment to the project with over 17 MW across nine projects completed to date. 

“Tapping into the opportunity for sustainable energy development on under-valued properties like landfills is part of the DNA of our company,” offered Chad Farrell, CEO and Founder of Encore Renewable Energy. “We’re excited to bring our deep expertise in the reuse of landfills as host sites for community-scale solar arrays to Derry to help support the community’s transition to the clean energy economy.”

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