When it is open for business, the West Tisbury transfer station is a cacophony of sounds: tires rolling over gravel, trucks backing up, and people shuffling in and out of the clothing shed.

New to the mix is a low buzzing noise coming from a three-acre spread of solar panels, which sit in a grid over the capped landfill.

On an annual basis, the solar panels can more than offset electricity used by municipal buildings. — Mark Lovewell

The town inaugurated the solar array on Tuesday, but the ribbon-cutting ceremony was purely symbolic; the installation has been up and running since January.

In the works since 2011, the project is a first for the town, which has installed solar cells on municipal roofs but never over such a large area.

On a sunny day, the system has a capacity of 703 kilowatts of power. On an annual basis, the solar array can more than offset the electricity used for the town’s municipal buildings, including the West Tisbury School.

But it was producing far less than that Tuesday morning, due to significant cloud cover. The rain held off during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, but a strong wind tore at the red tent assembled for the occasion.

In a short series of speeches, attendees heard from selectman Cynthia Mitchell and Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative (CVEC), the group that oversees municipal energy projects on the Cape and the Vineyard.

West Tisbury has estimated that it will save $63,427 per year as a result of the solar installation. Energy generated by the installation is fed into the utility grid. In exchange, the utility lowers the energy bill for the municipal buildings.

Selectman Cynthia Mitchell. — Mark Lovewell

CVEC, which is managing this project on behalf of the town, has completed 25 municipal solar installations to date. According to materials provided by CVEC, the projects together total 28 megawatts, and could cover the electricity usage of 2,637 homes.

In a speech on behalf of the town energy committee, Sander Shapiro offered a tribute to the late chemist Shelton Bank, a longtime West Tisbury resident who championed energy initiatives in town. Mr. Shapiro said Mr. Bank’s efforts set the scene for the success of the solar project.

“Because of Shelton’s activities over the years, the resistance was relatively small and he greased the wheels for all of us,” Mr. Shapiro said.

Janet Bank said while her husband’s primary efforts had focused on wind, not solar power, he would have endorsed the solar array.

“He would have been very pleased that the town has engaged in conservation,” she said.