WMECo completes largest solar facility in New England

By Editor


WMECo completes largest solar facility in New England

Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECo) has
completed its 2.3 megawatts solar energy facility in the Indian Orchard section
of Springfield. The facility is the second large-scale solar energy plant of
WMECo, features 8,200 solar panels.

The Indian Orchard facility joins WMECo’s Silver Lake
Solar facility in Pittsfield as one of the largest in the Northeast region and
is the largest in New England.  

officials joined local and state officials in celebrating the transformation of
the former foundry site into a clean, renewable energy facility.  

“WMECo continues to demonstrate that large-scale
solar can be developed and delivered in a cost-effective manner for our
customers. These projects represent significant progress toward meeting the
Commonwealth’s renewable energy goals and diversifying the region’s energy
supply with non-carbon-emitting fossil fuels,” said
Peter J. Clarke WMECo president and chief operating officer.  

The project brought nearly $12M of new construction to
the region and is will contribute $400,000 of annual property tax revenue to
the City of Springfield.  Springfield is one of the two Gateway
Communities in WMECo’s service territory and is home to approximately 65,000
WMECo customers.

“This continues to build on my Administration’s
vision for green economic development. Seven months ago we were standing on a
remediated brownfield site. Today, this site is now a tax-generating property
and is home to the largest renewable energy facility in New England. I
appreciate WMECo’s continued collaboration with the City of Springfield,”
said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno.

“Investments in renewable energy cut long-term
energy costs, create local jobs and bring us closer to meeting our statewide
clean energy goals. We have 67 megawatts of solar energy installed statewide –
equal to the amount of electricity used by 10,600 households annually – and
this project builds on this accomplishment by keeping this economic opportunity
here in the Commonwealth,” said Massachusetts Energy and Environmental
Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.   

The Commonwealth has a goal to install 250 MW of solar
generation by 2017. Under the landmark Green Communities Act (GCA), each
Massachusetts electric utility may own up to 50 MW of solar, subject to
approval by the Department of Public Utilities (DPU).  

By Team
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