August 7, 2015 – Westminster, MA
SunLight General Capital, a New York City-based solar finance and development company, recently broke ground on a new 568 kW solar project in Westminster, Massachusetts. The project is being financed and built by SunLight’s investors, at no cost to the town itself.
Projected to produce over 700,000 kWh of clean electricity annually, the new panels will save money, as well as helping the town of Westminster go green. The solar energy produced will be sold to local entities through a Power-Purchase Agreement (PPA) at a lower price than the local utilities would charge. This means that school boards and other municipal organizations, such as the water district, will have the opportunity to save thousands of dollars on electricity each year.
Now that approvals from local permitting, review, and environmental boards have been secured, construction can begin. “Breaking ground is always exciting,” said Peter Dubro, Director of Projects and Engineering for SunLight General. “A lot of work goes into a project before you actually get to see physical results.”
There were some geographical complications due to the sloping terrain of the area, but that was worked around easily by some slight grading within the site. “The sloping terrain made it difficult to visualize the project,” said Dubro. “Now that the slope has been cleared of brush and the hill has been graded, it’s easier to envision how the final panels will look.”
Now that the ground has been leveled, the next step is to install racking and solar panel modules. Once completed, the project will contain 1870 ground-mounted solar panels over about 2.5 acres.
In addition to the financial advantage for the town, the panels will have a significant environmental benefit. According to the EPA, each year the system will offset the equivalent of more than 1.1 million passenger vehicle miles driven. Over the life of the PPA, the clean electricity produced will be enough to power almost 1000 homes for a year, or to take 1530 cars off the road for a year.
SunLight General Capital and its related entities have previously focused on New Jersey and Connecticut. “We are thrilled about breaking ground on the Westminster project,” said Stacey Hughes, of SunLight. “We are always excited about reaching out to new towns, and bringing solar to new parts of the Northeast.”