Forest Hills Municipal Building
In 2014, due to escalating operation and maintenance costs resulting from inefficient building design, the borough of Forest Hills decided to design and construct a new building with the goal of net zero. The building would have a solar array capable of meeting the annual needs of the building. Now completed, the nearly 13,000 square foot structure is powered entirely by the solar array that was installed on the building’s rooftop by EIS Solar, a local Energy Service Provider.
The 175kW solar array was made possible by a loan provided by Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF), a non-profit located in the Lehigh Valley area whose mission is to provide individuals and small businesses assistance in overcoming financial and educational barriers to a more sustainable energy future. SEF provided a loan to the borough of Forest Hills that covered 70% of the initial cost of the solar installation. It was estimated that the solar array would generate over 213,000kWh of energy annually. Through a power purchase agreement (PPA) in which the building sells the electricity it generates to the borough at a set, annually increasing rate for 25 years, it was further estimated that over the first seven years of operation, the array could generate revenues on average of $24,500 annually.
Thanks to this solar generated power, a reduction of 150 tons of CO2 emissions should occur every year. This is the equivalent of taking nearly 30 cars off the road per year.
Photo provided by EIS Solar