With funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the City of Pittsfield installed a photovoltaic (PV) array on its Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) site that will significantly reduce electricity costs. As an energy source, PVs offer several advantages, including reducing greenhouse gasses, predictable future utility expenses, minimal maintenance, and a 20- to 25-year design life.
The project involved the installation of approximately seven acres of ground-mounted panels on the City’s WWTP site. Several ARRA construction projects with different contractors, budgets, and schedules occurred simultaneously within the WWTP footprint. Detailed coordination, planning, and oversight were critical to realizing efficiencies and avoiding conflicts with adjacent projects. The City also needed to complete a detailed interconnection process with existing, on-site infrastructure, as well as with an existing power grid.
From concept through design and construction, Kleinfelder partnered with the City to navigate this design-build project’s technical and regulatory complexities. Kleinfelder carefully tracked the design-build schedule and expenditures to ensure the project progressed and remained viable for the City. Kleinfelder coordinated ARRA funding requirements; handled design, project, and review team coordination; and assisted in developing, reviewing, and evaluating the design-build Request for Proposal.
Successfully installed, the new PV array represents 1.5 MW and will produce an average of roughly 30% of the WWTP’s total electrical demand. It is the largest PV installation of the 11 sites in Massachusetts funded by ARRA in its attempt to mitigate electricity costs for these plants, which are typically a municipality’s largest electricity user.