Connecticut retirement community leads charge for 732 kW solar system

Connecticut Meadow Ridge solar project

The Meadow Ridge retirement community in Redding, Connecticut, has signed an agreement with Verogy to build a 732 kW solar installation. When complete, the project will supply Meadow Ridge with more than 850,000 kWh — or nearly 20%—of its annual electricity, for an estimated savings of $7.3 million in electricity costs over the life of the array.

The idea of building a solar project at Meadow Ridge was first proposed by a group of residents who wanted to lower the community’s carbon footprint and make the most of its 136-acre, hilltop setting.

“We’ve long had an interest in bringing solar to Meadow Ridge,” said resident Susan Auslander, who leads the resident solar committee. “We were waiting for the technology to advance so that we could strike the balance between the financial investment, cost savings, and the environmental benefits. Our solar committee wants to leave a cleaner, greener environment for our children and grandchildren.”

The project is made possible with a commercial property-assessed clean energy (CPACE) loan from the Connecticut Green Bank, zero-emission renewable energy credits (ZRECS) through Eversource and investment tax credits.

“After a long and winding process, we are pleased to be moving forward with this important project at Meadow Ridge,” said chief operating officer Brett Mehlman. “Not only will the solar installation be self-supporting from a financial perspective, but it’s clearly the right thing to do for our environment by reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels.  We are very appreciative of the support (and urging) of our residents at Meadow Ridge, the guidance and planning provided by Verogy, the financing provided by the Connecticut Green Bank, and the support of Meadow Ridge’s ownership that all contributed to bringing this project to fruition.”   

Meadow Ridge solar committee
Meadow Ridge resident Susan Auslander leads the solar committee.

The project is expected to be complete by November 2024. Plans feature two arrays — one on top of two, to-be-built carports, and the other on the roof of Ridge Crest, Meadow Ridge’s sub-acute rehabilitation and skilled nursing center.

“The two arrays at Meadow Ridge will not only produce critical amounts of renewable energy, but they will also help the community realize new streams of revenue through utility savings and state incentives,” noted Katie Shelton, business development associate at Verogy, a West Hartford-based solar energy company. “We are so thankful to be working with a partner like Meadow Ridge on these projects.” 

Meadow Ridge, developed by Senior Care Development LLC and managed by Benchmark Senior Living, is one of Connecticut’s most comprehensive continuing care retirement communities. Located in the picturesque town of Redding and recognized for excellence by U.S. News and World Report, Meadow Ridge sits on 136 acres and offers 285 apartment homes of independent living, assisted living and memory care. The campus also features Ridge Crest, an award-winning, sub-acute rehabilitation and skilled nursing center.

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