SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts Electric Company plans to build a new solar panel facility in Springfield.
Even more energy will be clean energy in western Massachusetts, but the location of this new solar facility used to be dirty.
The site for WMECO’s 2nd solar facility in Springfield, 3rd in Western Massachusetts, used to be anything but clean.
The area just off Cottage Street used to be home to a landfill, now this garbage site has been covered and ventilated and can now properly hold a solar panel site.
It hasn’t been a landfill since the early 1970s and now the energy it creates as a solar facility will reduce our use of non renewable energy.
“You’re displacing a dirtier, much more environmentally unfriendly fuel source and replacing it with energy efficiencies and renewable energy,” said Rick Sullivan, Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
Once complete, this new complex of nearly 13 thousand solar panels will add 3.9 megawatts of electricity to the grid, enough to power six hundred homes bringing WMECO’s total solar production up to 8 megawatts.
These solar energy farms are becoming cheaper to make.
“As the industry matures and more research and development is done, the equipment becomes cheaper and construction of the panels becomes cheaper and the output is better, so it’s kind of hte evolution of the industry,” said Craig Hallstrom, President of NStar and WMECO.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno envisions more solar energy in Springfield including at the Department of Public Works building, Central High School and even at a possible casino.
“That is a definite that will move to a green type facility and I think that’s in MGM’s bones too,” said Sarno.
Construction on the Cottage Street solar facility begins any day and is scheduled to be completed by April of next year.