Solar Farm Unveiled

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Photo provided by Kim Worthington

Suffield celebrates new solar farm in a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 30. Pictured with First Selectman Melissa Mack at the center are, from the left, Lodestar Energy co-founder Jeff Macel, Rep. Tami Zawistowski, Selectman Mel Chafetz, solar farm owner Kevin Sullivan, Lodestar co-founder Jaime Smith, Congressman Joe Courtney and Planning & Zoning Commissioner Donald Rawling.

Located at Kevin Sullivan’s farm at 1005 North Street, the project was developed, built, financed and is currently owned by Lodestar Energy. Greeting the assemblage of “sun worshippers,” First Selectman Melissa M. Mack extended her congratulations stating, “Suffield is proud of its rich farming heritage and continues to seek ways to preserve our precious farmland. This solar farm not only presents options for clean, renewable energy, but also provides our family farms with additional avenues to maximize revenue sources while safeguarding Suffield’s treasured farmland for future generations.” Dignitaries in attendance included United States Congressman Joe Courtney and Connecticut State Representative Tami Zawistowski.

The solar farm uses 8,568 solar panels mounted on racking with a fixed tilt of twenty degrees and faces south to maximize sunlight. Generating over 3.4 million kilowatt hours per year, the solar system produces enough energy to power 500 homes. The Town of Suffield currently purchases discounted virtual net metering credits with projected savings of $1.5 million over the next 20 years in a similar arrangement with Lodestar Energy. These savings are allocated to the ten largest municipal utility accounts. Additionally, the Town receives an annual tax payment from the solar farm. Mack supported this important renewable energy project and negotiated both energy savings and tax benefits for the Town of Suffield.

Lodestar Energy, based in Connecticut, was founded by Jeff Macel and Jaime Smith in early 2014. Macel and Smith assembled a team of experts with broad experience developing, financing, operating and owning energy projects. Their belief was the combined knowledge of a multi-disciplinary organization would provide invaluable insights and creative solutions to organizations. Their simple goal: to develop great solar energy projects that are environmentally, socially, and financially successful. Under their leadership, Lodestar has successfully developed and financed over $150 million in solar projects over the past four years.

For additional questions, contact Bill Hawkins at 860-668-3848 in the Suffield Planning & Zoning Office. See here for additional background.

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