The larger of the two projects is a 7.1-MW array located on a gravel pit in Winchendon, Massachusetts. The project is comprised of nearly 20,000 solar panels and is coupled with a 3.3-MW energy storage system. Coupling solar with storage can bring about benefits for the electric grid and its customers. Chief among them is the ability to shift the solar generation to “peak” periods when electricity consumption is higher and generation from flexible resources like solar and storage is in greater demand. Solar and storage can also supply capacity to the New England electric grid, an adequate supply of which can ensure the region has sufficient resources to meet future demand for electricity.
The Winchendon project is a Community Shared Solar project, meaning that local homeowners and businesses can subscribe to the project and receive solar credits on their energy bills for the power produced, thus reducing their electric bills. Community solar is an ideal option for energy users who aren’t able to install solar on site–such as property owners with sites where solar doesn’t work from a technical or economic perspective; or renters who are individually responsible for their utility costs.
The second of the two SMART projects is a 2.7-MW array located in Freetown. The Freetown project was awarded a program allocation under SMART through a competitive request for proposals conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resource in late 2017, making it one of the first SMART projects and the only project in the NSTAR Eversource service area awarded a SMART allocation under the competitive process.
Borrego Solar developed, engineered and constructed the Winchendon and Freetown projects, while SunRaise secured the construction and permanent financing and will remain the long-term owner and operator of the facilities. Together the two projects will generate about 12,700,000 kWh of electricity each year, which is enough energy to meet the energy demand of 1,688 average Massachusetts homes for a year. That’s equivalent to more than 1 million gallons of gasoline and 10 million pounds of coal burned each year.
News item from Borrego Solar