Ribbon cut today on BlueWave’s largest community solar project to date, one of the largest community solar projects in the Northeast
16.5 MW DC project in Oxford, Massachusetts is BlueWave’s largest community solar project and will provide clean power and energy savings to homes and small businesses as well as The Fay School and Phillips Academy Andover.
BlueWave Capital, LLC (“BlueWave”) of MA, along with financing partners MS Solar Solutions Corp, Avidia Bank of Hudson, MA, MMA Energy Capital of Baltimore MD, New Energy Capital of Hanover, NH, landowners Martin Realty Company of Auburn, MA and Brett and Dorothy Mann and local, state and federal officials cut the ribbon on a 16.5 MW assemblage of 9 solar PV arrays in Oxford, Massachusetts. Known as the Barrett Street project, this group of arrays will produce local, clean energy and generate long term electricity savings for residents, small businesses and educational institutions in Central Massachusetts and beyond.
As a community solar leader in Massachusetts, BlueWave developed the first two community solar projects in the Commonwealth. The Barrett Street project is part of the 30 MW of community solar BlueWave will bring online in 2016. As a result of this success, BlueWave has gained close to 500 community solar customers this year. In addition to developing and owning community solar, BlueWave has developed a proprietary Solar Management Platform (SMP) to manage its Community Solar Share customers’ experience.
“BlueWave’s mission to provide ‘Solar for the 100%” is being further realized through the Barrett Street project,” said Trevor Hardy, CEO of BlueWave. “Whether through our development and ownership of community solar projects or through our Community Solar Share product or Solar Home Loan, we are providing access to clean, locally generated electricity at a savings to residents and small businesses across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and in other states. To date, we have delivered more than $4.5 million in annual savings for customers and more than $125 million in savings over the life of contracts while reducing CO2 by 44,000 metric tons annually – the equivalent of taking 10,000 cars off the road.”
“We’re very impressed with BlueWave’s vision and execution on the Barrett Street project”, said Jeph Shaw, Vice President and Principal at New Energy Capital Partners. “As active investors in community solar since 2012, we know that both are critical to success. We’re happy to support the project and to enable residents, businesses and schools to access clean, affordable energy.”
“By partnering with Blue Wave, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to provide financing that brings solar projects, like Barrett Street, to fruition and by extension, be an integral part of the process that helps local individuals, families and businesses lower energy costs by improving their access to alternative energy sources in the form of solar power”, said Mark R. O’Connell, President & CEO, Avidia Bank.
Located on what was once the largest commercial piggery in the Northeast, the Barrett Street project will also protect 100 acres of farmland from more intensive use and enable future agricultural use, reduce carbon emissions by 15,000 tons annually, generate local tax revenue for the Town of Oxford and create and support the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ clean energy and climate goals.
“The Town of Oxford is honored to be part of the sustainable energy future and we welcome Blue Wave to our community”, said Town of Oxford Selectwoman Cheryll A. LeBlanc. Oxford Selectman John G. Saad added, “We are pleased that Blue Wave has chosen Oxford for its largest community solar project to date. We look forward to cost benefits for our community.”
Residents and small businesses will receive clean, affordable power from this local project in the form of net metering credits (“Shares”) as part of BlueWave’s Community Solar Share program. In addition, The Fay School of Southborough, MA and Phillips Academy Andover of Andover, MA are the “anchor” offtakers for this project. As anchor offtakers, The Fay School has contracted for approximately 1.625 MW DC of solar net metering credits and Phillips Academy has contracted for 6.5 MW DC of solar net metering credits, together representing more than 50% of the total output for the project. As a result, both schools are furthering their sustainability goals while reducing their electricity costs.
“Fay School is delighted to be part of this green energy initiative,” said Rob Gustavson, Head of School at Fay School. “Our partnership with BlueWave has helped us broaden our ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability.”
As one of the largest community solar projects in Massachusetts and the Northeast, the Barrett Street project has been under development with landowners Martin Realty Company and Brett and Dorothy Mann since 2013. In March of 2016 site preparations began and mechanical completion of the assemblage was achieved in July of 2016. Approximately 150 people worked on this project in areas including development, construction, permitting, engineering, electrical, land use and legal. In developing this project, BlueWave, along with the engineering, procurement and construction contractor Conti Solar, engineering and land use partners Andrews Engineering and Survey, Fuss & O’Neil, Eco Tech, Inc., EBT Environmental, Thunderchase Environmental, Epsilon Associates, LEC Environmental, New England Environmental, Meridian and the local utility, National Grid, took great care to ensure that the local ecosystem, land characteristics and long term agricultural value were protected. In addition to working closely with the property owners, the Towns of Oxford and Auburn and their planning, conservation and public safety officials on permitting, access and wetlands issues, BlueWave worked with National Grid to develop a combined point of interconnection through the use of directional drilling to connect multiple electrical facilities while minimizing land impacts.
“We are thrilled to have been involved in the construction of a project that so ably demonstrates the many positive impacts a solar installation can have,” said Matthew Skidmore, Vice President of Conti Solar. “Not only is the system offsetting a significant portion of the local residents and small businesses electricity but the construction process provided jobs for more than one hundred local laborers, operators, and electricians.”
“National Grid has a long history of supporting clean energy and we are pleased to have collaboratively worked with BlueWave to connect this milestone project ahead of schedule. This is the largest community solar project installed to date in our service area,” said Kevin G. Kelly, Director, Customer Energy Integration at National Grid. “Projects like these don’t happen without teamwork among all stakeholders. We congratulate BlueWave in delivering another important renewable energy project.