Massachusetts Awards 4-MW of Solar Contracts

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on Friday, announced the award of federal stimulus-funded contracts to install 4.1 megawatts (MW) of solar energy at 12 public water and wastewater treatment facilities throughout the Commonwealth. The 12 contracts represent the state’s largest-ever award for solar installation at public facilities.

Worth approximately $20 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding, the projects announced today are expected to be complete between June 2010 and July 2011. They include municipal and regional facilities in Ashland, Hyannis, Chelmsford, Easton, Fairhaven, Falmouth, Holden, Marlborough, Blackstone/Millbury, East Freetown, Pittsfield and Townsend.

“Over the past three years, we have built a vibrant solar industry in Massachusetts – quadrupling the number of companies and more than doubling the number of jobs in the solar energy sector,” Governor Patrick said.  “The projects we’re announcing today continue that success – putting federal stimulus dollars to work installing solar panels that will produce clean, renewable power for municipalities within a few short months.”

Nexamp and its partner, Florence Electric of Taunton, won the contracts through a competitive solicitation by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER).

“Nexamp is honored to be selected through this highly competitive process to design and install these important solar projects. We look forward to optimizing the Massachusetts solar stimulus funding to provide long-term savings to each of the sites while creating skilled, green-collar jobs,” said Dan Leary, president and COO at Nexamp.

The 12 projects are funded out of $185 million in federal stimulus dollars awarded to Massachusetts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finance 127 water and wastewater infrastructure projects through the State Revolving Fund (SRF) administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).

Massachusetts was the first state to get EPA approval to use SRF funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy activities. In fact, the Commonwealth’s Energy Management Pilot served as a model for the 20 percent SRF green infrastructure requirement in the ARRA.

Once complete, the solar projects will enable the 12 water and wastewater facilities to save nearly $650,000 per year by cutting conventional energy use by approximately 4.5 million kilowatt hours annually.

Solar PV installations are slated for the following locations:

  • Ashland Ponderosa Public Works Facility
  • Barnstable Wastewater Treatment Facility (Hyannis)
  • Chelmsford Crooked Spring Water Treatment Facility
  • Easton Water Division
  • Fairhaven Wastewater Plant
  • Falmouth Crooked Pond Water Filtration Facility
  • Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Carroll Water Treatment Plant (Marlborough)
  • New Bedford Water Division Quittacas Water Plant (East Freetown)
  • Pittsfield Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Townsend Water System
  • Upper Blackstone Wastewater Pollution Abatement District Regional Wastewater Plant (Blackstone and Millbury)
  • Worcester Water Filtration Plant (Holden)

By the end of 2010, Massachusetts will see a nearly 20-fold increase in solar installations. ARRA-funded solar installations on water and wastewater treatment facilities, and other public buildings and PV projects assisted by Commonwealth Solar rebates will bring the state to approximately 63 MW by the end of 2010, up from 3.5 MW when Governor Patrick took office. More than 18 MW of solar power are currently up and running across Massachusetts.

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