On Tuesday, Sept. 8, North Adams, Mass., celebrated the launch of a new solar panel facility on top of a former landfill on E Street.
“I am very excited to have recently cut the cord,” North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright said. “The project, four years in the making, is a true highlight of my administration.”
The facility cost $9 million to build, but by signing a 20-year purchasing agreement with Syncarpha Capital, North Adams paid no upfront costs for the facility. North Adams will pay a starting rate of $9.99 per kilowatt hour, and the price could rise as much as two percent per year. As of June, however, the average price of commercial electricity in Massachusetts was $15.03 per kilowatt-hour, so North Adams will save money with the new deal. Based on past usage, annual savings could total up to $400,000, according to Alcombright.
“This development makes sense on so many levels: cost savings, renewable energy, adaptive reuse of a capped landfill and, most importantly, creating a mindset and infrastructure that will allow us to pursue other green initiatives. This is a great time for the City of North Adams,” Alcombright said.
The array will offset approximately 2989 tons of carbon annually, according to Alcombright.
Massachusetts, with maximum solar production at a rate of 900 megawatts and about 30,000 installations, ranks fourth in solar production in the nation. The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources hopes solar production in the state will increase; its goal is 1600 megawatts by 2020.