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First Wind Marks Start of Commercial Operations at Second Largest Solar Project in Massachusetts

published: 2014-06-24 13:44

First Wind completed the construction of the Warren Solar project and started commercial operations. The 14 MW (AC) Worcester County-based project is not only a new member of First Wind’s 3 MW (AC) Millbury, MA solar project in commercial operations, but also is part of First Wind’s first solar developments and first renewable energy projects in its home state of Massachusetts.

State and community leaders, Massachusetts energy officials, and renewable energy industry representatives were attendees of the completion ceremony. Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett noted, “With this project, First Wind is contributing to our sustainable future and helping to reach Governor Patrick’s goal of 1,600 MW installed by 2020.”

Located at three sites in the town of Warren, MA, construction began in the fall of 2013 after a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) was finalized with the University of Massachusetts (UMass). As part of the PPA, the UMass Lowell campus and UMass Medical School in Worcester will receive a portion of the financial benefit resulting from the Warren projects. UMass Lowell and UMass Medical School are expected to avoid an estimated $410,000 and $670,000 in utility costs per annum, respectively over the course of the 30-year agreement.

As both the Warren and Millbury Solar projects have started operations and begun to generate power, First Wind will make annual tax payments of $50,000 to the town of Millbury and $130,000 annually in tax payments to the town of Warren. In addition, the towns of Millbury and Orange, MA will realize annual energy savings by receiving a smaller portion of the energy generated through net metering agreements.

“First Wind’s Warren solar project not only delivers clean, renewable energy, but it also serves as an economic boost for local economies,” said Representative Todd M. Smola.

Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. led construction of both the Warren and Millbury the projects and both of them represent a significant investment in the surrounding communities and local economies, along with millions of dollars in construction, materials and development costs.

“We are very pleased to complete work on our Warren Solar project, which represents our second solar project to achieve successful commercial operations,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. “Not only are we contributing to the state’s aggressive energy goals, but we are also able to directly benefit the surrounding communities with financial and clean energy advantages.”

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