Cabot Installing Solar, Storage With Support Of MA’s SMART Program

Cabot Corp., a specialty chemicals and performance materials company, is installing a solar-plus-storage system at its Business and Technology Center in Billerica, Mass.

SunPower will install a 1.12 MW solar project paired with a 470 kW (940 kWh) integrated energy storage system. The start of construction is targeted for summer 2019.

The solar project will feature SunPower panels installed across multiple parking canopies. It is expected to produce enough electricity to offset approximately 20% of the facility’s energy needs, thereby reducing Cabot’s grid energy costs. The energy storage system will provide additional savings by decreasing electricity demand charges during peak hours.

Cabot is financing the SunPower Helix solar-plus-storage project through a power purchase agreement arranged by SunPower, allowing Cabot to buy power at competitive prices and hedge against future utility rate increases. The project will also be supported by the new Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program, established by Massachusetts’ Department of Energy Resources to encourage the development of solar in the state. In September, the state’s Department of Public Utilities approved the SMART program, which provides compensation for all new solar projects under 5 MW in an investor-owned utility’s service territory.

“At Cabot, we are committed to sustainability and recognize that renewable energy plays an important role in building a more sustainable future,” comments Karen Rankin, director of sustainability and regulatory affairs at Cabot. “We’re thrilled to bring this project to one of our main hubs for technology innovation, as this investment helps demonstrate the value of renewable energy while also delivering the added benefit of providing solar parking canopies and automobile charging stations for our employees.”

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