Massachusetts Adds Large Scale Solar

Think all the large-scale solar projects are located out West? If so, the Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECo) would have you know it recently completed what it says is the largest solar energy facility in New England–a 1.8 megawatt (MW) project, at the William Stanley Business Park on Silver Lake Boulevard in Pittsfield, the first of a number of solar farms to come.

The project consists of approximately 6,500 solar panels, situated on eight acres of land owned by WMECo and the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority (PEDA), and surrounded by a decorative fence (presumably to avoid creating an eyesore for the City). The facility is projected to produce enough electricity, via solar, to power 300 homes, while bringing in approximately $150,000 in annual property tax revenues to the City of Pittsfield.

Western Massachusetts Silver Lake Solar Project

image via WMECo

In August 2009, WMECo became the first utility in New England to receive approval from the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to build solar energy facilities in the region, and the utility’s ultimate goal is to build out 6 MW of solar generating capacity over the next two years. In order to make the most of available space, WMECo’s program focuses on large-scale solar facilities located on sites with significant usage restrictions, like capped landfills and brownfields.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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