MERRIMACK — The first on-campus solar array at Fidelity Investments has been completed on a 12-acre parcel in Merrimack. The solar farm is already active, and is expected to supply 16 percent of the annual electricity needs for the existing building at 2 Contra Way.
The solar field is projected to generate 3.9 million kilowatt hours of energy each year, according to Fidelity officials.
“It has become imperative as a business that we take sustainability seriously, and our customers and our clients demand that of us,” said Joe Murray, vice-president of government relations and public affairs at Fidelity Investments.
The Merrimack campus currently has about 5,000 employees, and is one of the largest Fidelity sites across the country, according to Murray.
“This is something that is such a home run with our employees,” he said of the solar array.
About 346 ground-mounted solar array racks containing 8,640, 360-watt modules have been installed as part of the solar field, as well as an overhead 34.5 kilovolt line with utility poles to interconnect the existing electrical grid that will generate about 3.1 megawatts of power.
“This is really sustainability in action,” said Brian Daigle, vice-president of energy engineering at Fidelity.
With 50 percent of the company’s carbon footprint consisting of electricity uses within buildings, Fidelity is trying to increase its use of renewable energy, said Daigle, explaining the new solar farm is a step toward the future. The project was in the works for more than two years.
The project also includes several honey beehives that have been introduced to promote pollination. According to Daigle, native wildflower has been planted on the large parcel, as well as pollinator mix to increase the habitat there.
“This is now the crown jewel of our sustainability portfolio,” said Chris Melia, head of human resources for technology, legal and automation and regional co-lead at Fidelity.
Other sustainability efforts at Fidelity in New Hampshire include low-emission priority parking, bird boxes, walking trails, a weather station and an aerator in the center of Contra Pond that oxygenates the water and helps filter out pollutants.
Alicia Sundberg, head of Fidelity Real Estate, said Tuesday during a gathering at the new solar array that the project also helps give back to the community.
Of all the projects she has assisted with, Sundberg said this is the one she is most proud of, in part because of Fidelity’s commitment to a sustainable future.