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    Unitil Corporation develops US solar array

    Unitil Corporation has initiated groundwork for a 5MW solar energy initiative in Kingston, New Hampshire, which is set to become the state’s most extensive project of its kind.


    Spanning 36 acres of unoccupied land along Towle Road, the project will consist of 11,232 panels generating 4.9MW.


    Notably, it marks the inaugural solar array owned and managed by a regulated distribution utility firm in New Hampshire. ReVision Energy has been chosen as the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor for this venture.


    Alec O’Meara, Unitil external affairs director, said “This is an exciting project that underscores Unitil’s commitment to using renewable energy sources to provide valuable economic benefits for our customers through the generation of stable, affordable, low-carbon energy.”


    “The new array reflects Unitil’s long-term goals of addressing the region’s climate objectives in a way that’s cost-effective, sustainable, and provides direct benefits to all customers.”


    “We look forward to partnering on this project with ReVision Energy, which brings with it 20 years of award-winning experience in the solar industry here in New England.”


    The array will be situated near an electrical substation, enabling the power it generates to be directly integrated into Unitil’s electric distribution system, consequently reducing the reliance on grid energy.


    Anticipated to be operational in 2025, the array is forecasted to produce around 9.7 million kilowatt hours of power in its inaugural year and maintain an average of 8.6 million kilowatt hours annually throughout its projected 40-year lifespan.


    To enhance energy output efficiency, single-axis tracking solar panels will be utilized, adjusting their position throughout the day to follow the sun’s trajectory from east to west.


    Approved by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission in May 2023, the Kingston project has secured all necessary local, state, and federal permits, facilitating the commencement of construction.


    State legislation permits utilities to invest in renewable generation equivalent to 6% of their total distribution peak load, affording Unitil the potential to develop up to 18MW of renewable generation.


    Dan Weeks, vice president of business development at ReVision Energy, said “With this array, Unitil will provide substantial savings for ratepayers, generate employment opportunities within the community, and significantly curb carbon emissions.”


    “As their solar installation partner, we are honored to support them in their charge by powering a more sustainable and resilient future through the transformative technology of solar energy.”


    The solar energy project in Kingston is a continuation of Unitil’s initial solar array, which was constructed in 2017 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Named Solarway, the 1.3MW facility comprised the installation of over 3,700 solar panels on the premises.”


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