Aetna said Monday it is conducting finals tests on 975 solar panels that cover a field next to the insurer's Windsor office — doubling Aetna's solar energy capabilities in Connecticut.
In conjunction with Earth Day on Monday, Aetna said the solar panels will be able to generate 268,000 kilowatt hours per year, enough to power 24 homes. The solar panels cover a football-field sized patch of grass that was unused at the Windsor office on Pigeon Hill Road, not far from exit 38 on Interstate-91. The panels are expected to be operational within a couple of weeks.
Power generated by the Windsor solar panels will offset Aetna's energy consumption, which the company said has already been reduced through other energy saving measures by 14.2 million kilowatt hours since 2010 — enough to power 1,504 homes for a year.
Aetna also has solar panels at its Hartford headquarters: 240 on the south facing Aetna Atrium Building and another 735 on the roof. Those panels produce about 250,000 kilowatt hours of energy each year — slightly less than the expected output in Windsor.
The Hartford solar panels were installed in 2009 as part of a $220 million renovation project to the Asylum Hill campus, coinciding with Aetna moving 3,600 employees there from Middletown. The Hartford solar panels are on the former Tower Building, at Farmington Avenue and Flower Street, and on the south side of the building facing Interstate-84.
"Besides the energy savings, the solar energy will provide numerous environmental benefits, and is a highlight in Aetna's renewed dedication to becoming a leader in corporate social responsibility."Aetna's head of asset management in its Real Estate Services division, Michael Marshall, said in a prepared statement.