Energy: Solar Panels Update – September 2019

Since 2012, solar panels were installed in 11 Newton schools, including at the Newton South High School rooftop (pictured above). By the end of 2020, Newton will add solar panels at 17 additional school and municipal locations, generating an additional 21 percent of the municipal energy use. See list here

Last spring the City Council approved the new locations, including solar canopies at the Newton Free Library parking lot and at Brown Middle School.  According to Mayor Fuller, “these solar projects help reduce the city’s carbon footprint, generate revenues and create savings for the City.” According to the US EPA, the effect of those projects is the equivalent of either removing 865 gas-powered cars from the road or the carbon sequestration effect of a 4,758-acre forest. The 17 newly approved locations are expected to generate $5 million in electricity savings over 20 years.

Phase 3 Solar Panel Project Update

Source: Facilities Memo to School Committee – 9-04-19

Roof Solar Projects

Ameresco is scheduling roof  top solar projects beginning the third week of October at:  Zervas Elementary School, FA Day, and the Ed Center.  These projects will take 4 to 6 weeks.  There will be no disruption of parking.  Materials will be delivered and craned to the roof over the weekend so as not to disrupt school operations.

Macquarie rooftop projects are not yet scheduled and are pending utility and State approvals.  Their projects include roofs at Angier, Cabot, Carr, and Williams. 

Solar Canopy Projects

Locations: Mason Rice, Brown , Oak Hill, Memorial Spaulding, Newton North, Ed Center

Traffic Division and the Police Department to analyze and discuss alternative parking locations for staff during the solar canopy construction period.  Every effort will be made to cause the least disruption as possible and the projects will be staged to minimize impact to staff and neighborhoods.  However, some temporary disruption and inconvenience will be unavoidable during this period.

It is important to note the construction of the Newton North High School, and Oak Hill/Brown canopies has changed and will not be done until the spring and summer of 2020.
Below is a summary of the estimated dates of construction at each site and alternative parking provisions to replace parking spaces displaced during construction provided by Bill Ferguson, Co-Director of Sustainability.  Please note that these dates are still subject to change depending upon a number of factors.