A 6.9-MW community solar project completed on Massachusetts farm

Ameresco, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and BlueWave Solar just launched five community solar projects with a ribbon cutting ceremony at Twin Elm Farm in Mendon, MA. The solar arrays located in Hopedale and Mendon, three of which are located at Twin Elm Farm, comprise a total of approximately 6.9 MW of renewable power. Overall, the projects will increase the amount of power generated by community solar in Massachusetts by an estimated 13 percent.

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The solar projects, owned by Ameresco, and co-developed by BlueWave, were supported through a long-term agreement with anchor-offtaker Blue Cross to purchase 2.6 MW of net metering credits to apply to its utility bills. Credits from the projects will also allow nearly 200 residents and small businesses in the Blackstone Valley to lower their electricity costs and reduce carbon emissions.

“This project is a win-win for Blue Cross,” said Jay McQuaide, SVP of Corporate Communications & Citizenship, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. “The cost savings will help us advance our mission of making quality health care affordable, and the environmental benefits align perfectly with our commitment to supporting renewable energy and helping our members live healthier lives.”

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While exploring ideas on how to generate income on their 650+ acre farm in Mendon, the Varney Family took into consideration how the Town of Mendon and local residents viewed the farm and its defining landscape and a solar farm seemed to be the perfect fit. The farm landowner, Elizabeth A. Varney, President/Treasurer, Varney Properties added, “The solar farm allows us to generate income, maintain the beauty of our agricultural land for residents and helps the town increase their tax base, not to mention the positive impact it has on the environment.”

“The demand for solar has skyrocketed over the last several years,” said Terry Sobolewski, Senior Vice President and Chief Consumer Officer at National Grid. “As customers continue to demand faster, cheaper access to cleaner energy, collaborations like the one we’re celebrating today are imperative to offering innovative solutions.”

— Solar Builder magazine

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