Construction started in late 2011 for a 1440 panel system. Brewster residents and businesses can participate.
How it was accomplished. In 2009 the concept for the Solar Garden was started. The facility site lease was acquired through a process involving a town meeting vote, and negotiation with the town of Brewster. Brewster approved zoning rules for solar arrays and signed a lease for a two-acre solar panel array on land at the Water Department. The lease is for 30 years and was signed with My Generation Energy. “We arranged it like any other business in the industrial park area,” explained Luke Hinkle, President of the company. “We’re paying them an annual lease. The energy will be provided to the grid. The net metering credits go to the members of the co-op, the Brewster Community Solar garden Cooperative.” “So when you sign up for the cooperative you get networking credits for five years that will exceed the price. After five years the cooperative can reinstate the deal or purchase the system,” Hinkle said.The town will receive $12,000 for the first lease payment and that figure will escalate annually.
Benefits. A “Sunshare” of 20 panels can be purchased for $5000 and the solar company (My Generation Energy) guarantees they will get energy credits of $5500 after 5 years, at which time the cooperative can reinstate the deal or purchase the system. Each group of 20 panels constitutes a SunShare, which will produce $90 of electricity a month. The project will generate $400,000 kilowatt hours a year.
Versatility. Not as versatile as some, due to a minimum purchase, but available to anyone in the community and businesses.
Replicability. Every area will have different laws and regulations that have to be addressed, but this model should be replicable in most areas..