In November of 2011 Mystic Seaport entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Altus Power to construct a solar array on the roof of the Museum’s Collections Research Center building. Over the past 18 months Altus Power has been working to secure the approvals and permits necessary to construct the system. By December of last year all of the approvals were in place. Construction began in January 2013 and was completed in April 2013. The system was inspected and approved by Connecticut Light & Power and came online May 21, 2013.
The system consists of 963 solar panels connected by over 4 miles of wire. The system has a design capacity of 200 kilowatts. This equates to about 20% of the annual electrical demand of the Collections Research Center.
How it Works
Every minute, enough of the sun’s energy reaches the earth to meet the world’s energy demand for one year. Solar modules are comprised of a number of solar cells. Light is absorbed by the semi conductors located inside the solar cells and converted into electrical energy. This process generates direct current (DC) electricity which is routed to an inverter. The inverter converts the electricity generated by the solar modules into alternating current (AC). AC is the form of electricity used in lighting and heating and cooling systems.
In many instances the power generated by the system exceeds the building demand and the excess power is sold back to the power company. Since the electrical requirements of the Rossie Mill are so high, our generation capacity will never exceed our demand. Therefore all of the electricity we generate will be consumed on site.
We have installed a real time system monitor in the Treworgy Planetarium. Please feel free to stop in on your next visit to Mystic Seaport and witness the system at work.