Mystic Seaport and Altus Power Announce Completion of New Solar Power System

Installation at Museum to Provide more than 250MWh Annually

Installation of the solar panels on the roof of the Collections Research Center. Photo taken February 2013.

Installation of the solar panels on the roof of the Collections Research Center. Photo taken February 2013.

Mystic Seaport and Altus Power are pleased to announce the completion of construction of a solar photovoltaic system on the roof of the Museum’s Collections Research Center building in Mystic, Conn. The 963-panel system will help to offset the electricity use of the building, which houses the Museum’s vast collection of more than 2 million maritime artifacts. Altus Power owns and maintains the system, which was built by Vanguard Energy Partners.

Mystic Seaport and Altus Power have been working together for over a year to craft a partnership which would help the Museum to reduce its carbon footprint and to defray some of the electricity costs of the institution. The Collections Research Center, a former velvet mill adapted for its current use in 1993, requires extensive humidity and temperature control, which contributes to significant energy usage. The solar photovoltaic system is expected to generate more than 250MWh of electricity annually, approximately 10-15 percent of the building’s total needs.

Altus won a contract to support the cost of this project from Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) in the recent Zero-Emission Renewable Energy Credit (ZREC) auction in July, 2012. By accepting a contract with CL&P, Altus has agreed to sell the project’s renewable energy credits to the utility for 15 years. Connecticut’s legislation requiring CL&P and United Illuminating – the state’s two utilities – to purchase renewable energy credits led to the auction, which enables the cost-efficient purchase of energy credits.

“We are very pleased that we are able to partner with Altus Power to help put Mystic Seaport on a path to a more sustainable future,” said Steve White, president of Mystic Seaport. “We hope this can be a model for other museums and organizations as we all seek ways to reduce costs and our burden on the environment.”

“Altus is pleased to work with the Museum to support its corporate sustainability efforts,” said Lars Norell, managing partner at Altus. “We are excited that this project will not only help the Museum’s bottom line, but will educate its visitors about clean energy as well.”

The project will also serve the education mission of the Museum. Real-time data on the solar array’s output will be sent to a display in the lobby of the nearby Treworgy Planetarium, where it can be viewed by visitors and incorporated into education programming.

About Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, it is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan, the oldest American commercial vessel still afloat. For more information, visit www.mysticseaport.org.