The largest single solar field and the largest public power solar project in Massachusetts is nearing completion, the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) recently reported.
A ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony were held in October at the project site on the Ludlow property of MMWEC, the Commonwealth’s designated joint action agency for public power utilities.
The MMWEC/Master Sergeant Alexander Cotton Memorial Solar Project is a 6.9-megawatt AC/10.34- megawatt DC solar farm constructed on a 35-acre section of MMWEC’s Ludlow campus, which is adjacent to Westover Air Reserve Base.
Six MMWEC member municipal light plants are participating in the project, including those located in Boylston, Ipswich, Mansfield, Marblehead, Peabody and Wakefield. EDF Renewables is the project developer.
The project is named in honor of the late Master Sergeant Alexander Cotton of the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover Air Reserve Base, in appreciation of his dedication and service, and in recognition of the long history between MMWEC and Westover.
MMWEC said the project will generate more than 13,800 megawatt hours per year and will displace nearly 13,220,400 pounds of CO2 emissions from Massachusetts power plants per year, based on current ISO New England average emissions.
Featuring state of the art bifacial module technology, the panels produce energy from direct sunlight as well as light reflected onto the backside of the panels. This allows for better year-round production, including during the winter, when snow cover on the ground reflects light onto the back of the panel, MMWEC noted.
“Consistent with the Commonwealth’s decarbonization roadmap, the solar project allows the participating municipal light departments to increase the non-carbon generation mix in their power portfolios, while helping them to maintain stable rates for their customers,” said MMWEC CEO Ronald DeCurzio.