Located on the outskirts of Beverly, Mass., in Essex County, the Beverly Community Solar Project was four and a half years in the making. Early challenges included waiting for an open incentive program that would make the project economically viable. In late 2018, Massachusetts introduced its new solar incentive program, Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target Program or SMART, and the door opened for the Beverly Solar Project. Little could the project stakeholders anticipate the extraordinary circumstances that were to be encountered ahead.
Part 3: The COVID-19 Challenge
One of the biggest and most unique challenges the teams were confronted with on the Beverly Landfill Solar Project was COVID-19. This was a potential force majeure event that was not in the plans. With very little notice, Signal Energy DG needed to mobilize their teams to develop an inventive and extensive plan to meet the needs of the situation. They had to re-think managing a project from an installation standpoint.
First-order was to establish hyper-sanitary conditions with hand washing stations, hand sanitizer, and regular cleaning of work areas. Crews were issued mandatory personal protective equipment. New schedules were created that limited crew members to specific tasks and engagement with team members. Their activity was closely documented and managed to ensure rules were adhered to and employees’ health and safety were foremost.
The construction crew also dealt with delivery issues as the supply chain became disrupted due to the pandemic. The company managed schedules and juggled work activities to accommodate the delays and to date remain on schedule with the project. While Signal Energy DG could have declared force majeure and stopped work, as some solar EPCs had done on other projects, their team and subcontractors persisted through the challenges.
When BlueWave’s Beverly Community Solar Project meets completion, it will deliver significant benefits to the community and be a milestone project in the solar industry.
The distributed generation project will fiscally impact the municipality with income from lease payments, the PILOT tax agreement, and electricity cost savings totaling over the 20 years of the project to the tune of an estimated five million dollars. Ultimately those monies will benefit the residents and businesses of Beverly.
As a landfill project converted to a solar power generation plant, the land has gone from an unused asset to a productive source of clean power. The Beverly Solar Project will generate enough energy to power approximately 500 homes.
The community will effectively reduce their carbon footprint and the project will contribute to a cleaner environment. On an annual basis, the plant will offset 3,720 metric tons of carbon emissions or the equivalent of removing nearly 800 cars off the road.
As a community solar project, the city has created an opportunity for residents and businesses to utilize clean renewable energy. Solar is a lower-cost energy, so the city will reduce their electricity spend, unlocking a portion of their budget for other important initiatives. Through the subscription process for community solar, they have also made lower-cost energy available to the people who live and work in the community.
About the team
BlueWave is on a mission to revolutionize energy with simple, powerful solar solutions. As a pioneering solar developer and leading community solar service provider, BlueWave has built more than 200 MW of solar projects to date and provides community solar access to thousands of customers. BlueWave’s innovative community solar subscriptions make it possible for homeowners, renters, small business owners, and municipalities to be part of the energy revolution. BlueWave’s cutting-edge Switch Platform enables solar asset owners and installers to conveniently manage their customers while giving those same customers an easily accessible online dashboard to sign up, manage their subscriptions, and review their account activity.
A certified B Corp, BlueWave has received national recognition for its work to protect the planet, including being named the Clean Energy Company of the Year in 2018 by the Northeast Clean Energy Council, a top impact company by Real Leaders Magazine, and a leading growth company by Inc. Magazine. For a full list of our awards and to learn more, visit bluewavesolar.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram.
Signal Energy is known for our great people and by our customers for providing exceptional value through our creative solutions. We are on a mission to be the preferred engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for our strategic customers by providing innovative solutions, delivering exceptional results, and attracting and developing the best workforce in the industry. We strive to be Elite in every commitment we make. Learn more at http://www.signalenergy.com/
Solar FlexRack, a division of Northern States Metals, is an integrated solar company that offers custom-designed, fixed tilt ground mount and single-axis solar tracking systems in the commercial and utility-scale solar mounting industries. Solar FlexRack also offers full turnkey packages, including engineering, geotechnical, pullout testing, field, layout, and installation services to address the actual site conditions of an installation and provide a full scope of services from design to delivery and installation. Solar FlexRack has completed over 2 GW of solar racking installations in 40 states across America and five countries globally. For more information, go to www.solarflexrack.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
— Solar Builder magazine