State officials celebrate 10.2 megawatt solar farm in Wareham
Several state officials attended a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 21, to celebrate a new 10.2 megawatt solar farm in Wareham along Charge Pond Road. The farm has over 47,000 panels and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 16,276 metric tons annually.
The farm, owned by renewable energy company Ameresco and codeveloped by BlueWave Solar, is one of two recently completed community solar projects in Southeastern Massachusetts.
The second project is a 6 megawatt solar farm in Mattapoisett.
Together, these projects will support the Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Kingston and Plymouth housing authorities. Also, as part of an agreement with Wareham, the town will receive a $150,000 annual payment from the developer, which will increase 2.5 percent each year the farm is in operation.
"A project like this is a true community effort," said Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "Other states look to Massachusetts as an example when it comes to green energy, and none of that would be possible without communities like Wareham."
According to Polito, there are 210 green communities in Massachuetts. Over a hundred of these participate in the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant program which focuses on climate change planning and resiliency.
"This is what a true bipartisan effort looks like," added State Senator Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton). "These projects are good for the environment and good for the bottom line. When mother nature is lobbying us, we should demand that we do more."
The two solar farms are under a 20-year agreement with the five communities they serve and will provide annual payments in support of providing housing to their citizens.
"These projects deliver much needed revenue to housing authorities in support of their core mission of providing housing to their citizens while allowing them to play a key role in the development of solar PV in the Commonwealth," said Ameresco Executive Vice President Micheal Bakas.
"It really is a testimony to what we can accomplish when we work together," added State Representative Susan Williams Gifford (R-Wareham)."I couldn't be prouder."