WMECo selects Springfield solar energy site

Springfield, Mass., January 17, 2011 – Western Massachusetts Electric Co. announced plans to develop its second large-scale solar energy facility.

The selected site is on Cottage Street in Springfield will accommodate some 17,000 solar panels, producing up to 4.2 MW of solar energy.

WMECo officials joined local officials in announcing the agreement to develop the capped landfill into a large-scale solar energy facility. Upon completion, the Springfield facility will join WMECo’s Silver Lake Solar Facility as two of the largest in the region.

The project will bring $22 million of construction to the region and is expected to contribute several hundred thousand dollars 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 some 65,000 WMECo customers.

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

WMECo was the first utility to receive DPU approval and is currently authorized to install 6 MW of solar. Local permitting for the project is underway and WMECo expects to begin construction in the second quarter of this year. Construction of the Springfield facility will complete the initial 6 MW authorization received from the DPU.


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