DERRY — It's like an oldies tune playing for one local business these days as proponents of solar energy are saying "here comes the sun" at the Tupelo Music Hall.
The music venue on A Street unveiled its new 313-panel rooftop solar display array during an official ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday afternoon attended by town and state officials, solar power supporters, friends and families.
Tupelo owner Scott Hayward said it's always been a goal to make the music hall as energy-efficient as possible.
"From the time we started construction, one goal of Tupelo Music Hall was to operate the business in a way that minimizes our carbon footprint as much as possible," Hayward said.
That includes recycling as much material as possible, using biodegradable products and using energy-saving LED lights.
With the solar panels in place, the 20,000-square-foot Tupelo will generate about 120,000 kilowatt hours per year, enough to offset 100 percent of the music hall's annual electric load, serving the business over the 40-year life of the array.
And from day one, the transition to solar energy is a cash flow positive for the Tupelo, as Hayward will be lowering electric costs with potential to save more than $750,000 over the life of the system.
Hayward has owned the Tupelo since 2004, moving the venue from its previous home in Londonderry and reopening in 2017 at the A Street location.
Dan Weeks, director of marketing development for ReVision Energy, said the solar-powered array on the Tupelo rooftop is an example of a business owner's commitment and also a collective effort by many supporters in the community.
"ReVision is excited about Tupelo's leadership of the clean energy transition, as one of the top music venues in New England," Weeks said. "Thanks to advances in solar technology, businesses like the Tupelo — and anyone with a sunny roof or lawn — no longer have to choose between saving money and saving the environment."
Weeks continued, saying ReVision was thrilled to work with Hayward on the project at the Tupelo, most likely the first music hall to go 100 percent solar in New England.
Hayward said the project's implementation was "seamless" and he credited the community, supporters and family for helping make the solar effort happen.
"It's another reason to live and work in this great community," he said.
The Tupelo joins another Derry solar project already up and running at the town's transfer station off Fordway.
In the spring that solar array was officially made operational and celebrated, with 10 ground-mounted tracking devices at the site, each holding 24 360-watt panels.
Town Councilor Joshua Bourdon said Derry is lucky to have Scott Hayward.
"I want to thank Scott for being a leader in the community," Bourdon said. "He chose to come to Derry, and is such a strong proponent of this community. He is leading by example and we are so grateful he chose to be here."
Bourdon said making energy efficiency a priority got a big jump start after town councilors decided to set a goal for the town to do what it could to save taxpayers money by utilizing energy efficient efforts like solar power.
That led to the Net Zero Task Force, working on projects and ways to put those efforts into place.
Executive Councilor and Democratic 1st congressional candidate Chris Pappas attended the ribbon-cutting and said he is big fan of oldies music and said there were some great tunes that summed up the solar success at the Tupelo Music Hall.
"Up on the Roof and "Here Comes the Sun," Pappas said. "I hope there's a lot of that in your future."