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The Largest Solar Power Plant in Massachusetts Is About to Go Online


The largest solar power station in New England is finished and ready to deliver power by the end of November. The plant is established on a piece of industrial contaminated property in Springfield, Massachusetts and promises to produce sufficient power to light up 300 homes.

Besides the $9.4 million solar installation with a capacity of 1.8 MW, Western Massachusetts Electric Co. (WMECO) has another ambitious ongoing plan regarding a second solar power project that is expected to be finished sometime next year. The power plants definitely ensure job growth in the green energy industry.

The pathway for the green constructions have been laid, one through the Green Communities Act signed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in 2008, and the other through the WMECO’s project to reduce land costs by constructing new plants on low-priced brownfield sites.

Carl Frattini, director of business development for WMECO said that the cost for a small scale rooftop solar panels installation is about $8,800 per kW, whereas considerably larger projects increase the production efficiency and thus, lowering the cost to around $5,200 per kW. The latter figure is more alluring to property owners to invest in clean energy and increase the quantity of solar power used in Massachusetts, which represents less than 1% of the overall electricity use.

According to a CBS news report, the green power industry has created more than 93,000 new jobs nationwide and many industry experts estimate than the figure is to increase by 26% in 2011. This will have a direct impact on the solar energy prices which are expected to decrease by approximately one half.

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