A verdant glowing green, according to the proprietors of the Brewster Community Solar Garden, constructed in 2012 off Freeman’s Way in Brewster.
The garden was conceived and built under the eye of MyGeneration Energy of Brewster. Shares (SunRights) were sold to investors in the cooperative for $5,000 with an expected return of $6,400 worth of electricity over five years.
The garden of 1440 Tennessee-built Sharp solar panels sits next to the water department adjacent to Route 6 and opposite the Captains Course driving range.
“It’s something of a source of pride for Brewster,” Hinkle declared. “In the summer wildflowers bloom and last year we put in bluebird houses.”
“You feel you’re part of something doing good; saving the planet,” co-op member Cal Mutti reflected. “I think it’s a signal of the future and I’m so proud of Brewster to be at the starting gate of a new way to generate electricity that’s not harming the environment. We live in the forest and there’s no way I could have panels at my house.”
The electricity produced by the panels, about 460 megawatts a year (above the original 410 megawatt target) is net-metered every month by utility Eversource and the voltage produced is credited back to the co-op and parceled out to the members. Each member has the equivalent of 28 panels of production.
“The co-op doesn’t own the facility; what you’ve got is a consumer cooperative,” Hinkle told the members. “You have purchased electricity in the form of net-metering credits at a discount. Your organization can go on forever.”
Last year (February to February) produced $69,411.05 worth of credits to the bills and 459,972 kilowatt-hours of power.
It’s tax-free because it’s not income. It only shows up on your electric bill as credits against your consumption. Excess credits are rolled over for future bills.
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