Yearly Archives: 2012

EcoRI: Big Solar Projects Planned for Rhode Island

A flurry of solar energy projects are underway across Rhode Island. East Providence, Westerly, West Greenwich and the Quonset Business Park have substantial solar fields planned or underway. Here is a look at the two largest:

 

Quonset Business Park. A solar photovoltaic (PV) system covering 400,000 square feet atop two adjoining industrial warehouses is on track to be the largest of its type in New England. The project, owned by a Boston-based solar developer, expects to break ground in January and is scheduled to be completed in about two months.

 

The solar field has a 2.34-megawatt-rated capacity, meaning its optimal power produces electricity to power 500 homes. The project is about the size of three and a half football fields, and three times as large as the solar array at Toray Plastics, another tenant at the business park.

 

The project requires 8,000 polycrystalline panels, a technology that has been in use since the early 1980s.

 

“It’s a fairly large solar project with a fairly small community impact,” said Palmer Moore of solar energy developer Nexamp, from its Providence office.

 

Despite its size, the arrays will be unnoticeable to passersby, as the panels lie close to the roof and sit 10 feet from its edge.

 

The privately funded $7 million project will recoup some of its costs through a 30 percent federal tax credit. The project also will participate in the state’s distributed generation pricing program. Nexamp will make lease payment to the owner of the building, Davisville Realty LLC.

 

The solar-generated electricity will feed directly into the power grid. National Grid buys the power from Nexamp for $23.699 per kilowatt-hour for 15 years. The contract is one of the first power-purchase agreements derived from Rhode Island’s 2011 renewable energy laws. The legislation requires National Grid to offer power-purchase contracts in order to entice development of renewable energy.

 

Moore said his company finds the distributed generation program beneficial for financing as well as an incentive to do more business in Rhode Island. “The stability of the Rhode Island program is probably its biggest advantage,” he said.

 

The popularity of the distributed generation program — 15 solar energy contracts vs. 1 wind contract — has pushed down pricing for new solar contracts. Lower fixed pricing lowers the cost to consumers who subsidize the premium paid for solar and wind projects through their utility bills.

 

“You’re seeing in real time the market forces in action to bring down pricing,” Moore said.

 

In recent months, installers of smaller projects, like those for homes and small businesses, have complained that the distributed generation program excludes them. But Moore like others in the industry are optimistic that the incentives for small projects are forthcoming.

 

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North East Independent: Nexamp and West Davisville Realty Partner for RI Solar Project

NORTH KINGSTOWN –

Nexamp, a Mass.-based solar energy company with offices in Providence, will be installing the largest rooftop solar array in New England on two buildings in West Davisville.

The solar panels will be placed on the rooftops of two, 200,000-square-foot buildings at 338 and 342 Compass Circle within the Quonset Business Park. The buildings are privately owned by the West Davisville Realty Co. LLC. Palmer Moore, a developer with Nexamp, said that the massive solar array, consisting of about 8,000 panels, would go largely unnoticed to passersby because it is set back 10 feet from the edge of the roof and the panels are only about 2 to 3 feet off the roof.

“The nice thing about it is that, despite its scale, you would never know it’s there because it’s on a rooftop,” he said of the $6 million project.

After it is installed, the solar panels will generate about 3 million kilowatt-hours each year.

“To put that into perspective, the average household in New England uses about 6,000 kilowatt-hours each year,” said Moore. “That means this project could produce enough energy to power about 500 households a year.”

He anticipates the project to be completed before the end of the year.

According to Moore, Nexamp approached the building owners to lease the space on the roof and that National Grid will purchase the power from Nexamp.

“It works out for the owner because it generates another lease payment from the roof and stabilizes cash flow,” said Moore.

State law requires National Grid to purchase a certain amount of energy from renewable sources each year, this year the company must purchase 20 megawatt-hours of power from either wind or solar energy sources. Next year that number jumps to 30 MWh and in 2014 it increase to 40 MWh.

Palmer said the Quonset project would generate 2.3 MWh towards that goal.

This project comes a year after another solar array project in the Quonset Business Park made headlines last year. Toray Plastics installed a $2 million solar field, consisting of 1,650 solar panels on about 3 acres of land at its North Kingstown headquarters in 2011. That solar array was expected to provide electricity equal to the power use of 100 homes.

Nexamp is a leading independent solar power producer that develops, builds, owns, and operates distributed and utility-scale solar projects. The company has installed more than 175 solar projects across New England totaling more than 16 MWh of solar generating capacity.

New England Real Estate Journal: Nexamp installs new $1.5 million solar array on Leewood Building for Swix Sport USA

The city’s largest rooftop solar array has been installed atop the Leewood Building in the Newark St. industrial park. It will provide up to 95% of anchor tenant Swix Sport USA’s electrical requirements.

Besides electricity supplied to Swix Sport, additional energy is being sold to National Grid, providing a renewable source of power for the region. “It is a step toward meeting the goal set by Gov. Deval Patrick of having 250 megawatts of renewable energy by 2017,” said Leewood Building owner Peter Schwarz. He said he took advantage of both state and federal incentives to offset some of the project costs and worked with local solar vendors such as Nexamp of North Andover, Mass., which installed the system, and PanelClaw, North Andover, Mass., and Solectria Renewables, Lawrence, who were among the suppliers.

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The Barnstable Patriot: Sun shines on celebration of solar and wind projects

With partners Nexamp and Lumus Construction, the town dedicated its solar and wind turbine projects at the water pollution control facility June 22 in Hyannis.

Those attending the ceremony had a rare opportunity to drive out alongside the solar PV array that numbers nearly 4,000 modules. In the distance, the twin turbines were turning. The panels are designed to produce one million kilowatt hours annually, the turbines 282,100 in total.

Coupled with other energy-use changes at the plant, net energy consumption is expected to drop by 1.2 million kilowatt hours a year.

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Cape Cod Times: Solar power hot all over Cape, state

Solar in Massachusetts is on fire.

Over the past two years, capacity from photovoltaic panels across the state has more than quadrupled from 25 to 115 megawatts, enough to power about 115,000 homes, according to figures provided by state energy officials and energy information websites.

On Cape Cod and the Islands alone, 665 solar projects have been built over the past five years totaling more than 8 megawatts.

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The Boston Globe: North Andover firm a leading energy supplier

Every minute, enough energy from the sun hits the earth’s surface to power the planet for an entire year.

Hoping to channel some of that energy and convert it into electricity to power Massachusetts homes and businesses, former Army captains Daniel Leary and Will Thompson in 2006 established Nexamp, Inc. The North Andover company has grown to include offices in Boston, Hartford, and Providence with 35 employees.

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The Boston Globe: Westford Solar Park spurs jobs and sparks the imagination

The first visitors to New England’s largest privately owned solar energy park nearly missed it. Nestled on a plateau more than half a mile from the road, the state-of-the-art array is hidden from view, surrounded by woods at the edge of the old Fletcher Quarry.

Restless after a long bus ride from Cambridge, the fifth-grade students from Shady Hill School were eager to see firsthand how the sun’s energy was being harnessed. But the meeting proved elusive. There was no sign marking the site of the Westford Solar Park. The only clue they were in the vicinity of something big were the small signs posted along the meandering dirt driveway that warned: “Video surveillance in use on these premises.”

After a quick call to confirm they were in the right place, the bus made its way to a chain-link fence that wraps around a steep embankment covered with rocks. The bus passed the security check point and toiled slowly up the hill as 35 pairs of eyes, suddenly alert, strained to see. At the crest of the knoll, the curious visitors got their first glimpse.

“Mouths dropped,” recalled Cali Johnston, 11, whose father, Jeff, a principal with the firm that built the array, arranged the visit. “We were amazed at how huge it was. As far as the eye could see, there were panels. I knew it was going to be a giant site but when I saw it, it was so much bigger than I had ever imagined. It was incredible.”

This sea of shimmering glass, still under construction, stretches across a 22-acre site, on land that once was part of the adjacent century-old granite quarry. In its first year, the solar park is expected to produce 5.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity. When fully operational, the facility, developed by Cathartes Private Investments and operated by the solar power company Nexamp, Inc. of North Andover, will produce up to 4.5 megawatts of energy, enough electricity to power more than 600 homes.

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Lowell Sun: Governor hailed as champion of solar energy at Westford park

WESTFORD — Gov. Deval Patrick flipped the switch on the largest privately owned solar park in New England yesterday and acknowledged the state is committed to reaching its solar-energy goals set in 2008.

A 4.5-megawatt solar-panel field known as Westford Solar Park, with more than 14,000 panels, sits on 22 acres in a former quarry on Route 40 near Route 3. It was developed by Boston-based Cathartes Private Investments and solar-energy producer Nexamp.

The park celebrated its first phase of completion in October.
A report released this week by Mass Inc., an independent, nonpartisan think tank, assessed the state’s response to climate change. It gave recommendations needed to reach Patrick’s goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

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Westford Eagle: Governor switches on Westford solar power plant

Westford — Governor Deval Patrick officially flipped the switch on New England’s largest privately owned solar power facility today. Westford Solar Park was developed by one of Boston’s leading private development companies, Cathartes Private Investments, along with North Andover’s Nexamp, an industry leader in solar energy projects. The 4.5-megawatt solar panel field, with more than 14,000 panels, is situated on 22 acres near Route 3 in Westford, Mass. The Park will generate 150 million kilowatt hours over its lifetime.

 

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Boston.com: Gov. to flip switch on Mass. solar park

April 25, 2012 – The state’s largest privately-owned solar energy park will soon be generating power.

Gov. Deval Patrick on Wednesday is scheduled to ceremonially flip the switch for the 4.5 megawatt facility on a 22-acre site in Westford.

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Nexamp Completes Installation of a 260kW Solar Array for the H.T. Berry Company

CANTON, MA, April 17, 2012 – As part of the company’s ongoing commitment to promoting sustainable business practices, H.T. Berry (www.htberry.com) has announced the completion of a 260 kW array at its 100,000 square foot warehouse in Canton, MA.

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Westford Flips the Switch on 4.5 MW Solar Array

Westford, Mass. – Governor Deval Patrick officially flipped the switch on New England’s largest privately owned solar power facility today. Westford Solar Park was developed by one of Boston’s leading private development companies, Cathartes Private Investments, along with North Andover’s Nexamp, an industry leader in solar energy projects. The 4.5-megawatt solar panel field, with more than 14,000 panels, is situated on 22 acres near Route 3 in Westford, Mass. The Park will generate 150 million kilowatt hours over its lifetime.

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Nexamp Names Jim Eisenstein to Board of Directors

BOSTON, M.A., January 11, 2012 — Nexamp, Inc. announced today the election of Jim Eisenstein to its Board of Directors. Eisenstein will bring more than 20 years of experience in the development, operation and ownership of wireless and broadcast assets to Nexamp, the largest independent solar power producer headquartered in New England.

 

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