Former landfill in Springfield will become one of the largest solar plants in New England
Construction of WMECo’s third solar facility is underway in Springfield, as the company significantly expands its solar program. WMECo’s new solar plant is being built on the capped landfill at 282 Cottage Street in East Springfield. It will contain close to 13,000 solar panels and generate 3.9 megawatts of electricity—enough to power more than 600 homes.
“By expanding our solar program, WMECo is taking a leadership role in responding to the state’s call for increasing amounts of renewable energy,” said Craig Hallstrom, President of WMECo and NSTAR Electric. “At the same time, our solar facilities are making major contributions to local communities through the development of brownfields and by significantly increasing property tax revenues. WMECo is proud of our success developing large-scale solar plants in Massachusetts and today we’re building on that success with our third and largest project.”
“Together, with partners like WMECo, we achieved Governor Patrick’s goal of installing 250 megawatts of solar electricity by 2017 four years early,” said Rick Sullivan, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary. “We are pleased WMECo continues its part in our clean energy revolution, helping end our reliance on volatile fossil fuels, and protect our environment for generations to come.”
“The City of Springfield has a terrific relationship with the Western Massachusetts Electric Company when it comes to partnering up for green initiatives,” said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. “This is a significant project that will offer clean energy as well as the reuse of a capped landfill. This is a win-win for the residents and businesses of Springfield.”
Currently, WMECo’s solar plant in Springfield’s Indian Orchard neighborhood supplies 2.3 megawatts of clean renewable power, while the Silver Lake facility in Pittsfield provides 1.8 megawatts. WMECo’s solar energy output will nearly double next summer when the Cottage Street plant is operational, as the company goes from a commitment of providing a program total of 6 megawatts to 8 megawatts of electricity from the sun.
This project is also expected to contribute millions of dollars of personal property tax revenue to the city of Springfield. The construction phase will also provide a significant number of skilled labor jobs for IBEW Local 7 members.
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