Boston Community Capital has completed an 1 MW ground mounted solar array that will offset energy costs at local organizations at a ribbon cutting held today in Gardner. Developed in conjunction with the City of Gardner and the Gardner Redevelopment Authority, the Mill Street solar project is the first project completed as part of the Mill Street Urban Renewal Plan and is located on a remediated brownfield site owned by the Gardner Redevelopment Authority (GRA).
Constructed by Borrego Solar Systems, Inc., the solar project utilizes Massachusetts’ net metering program to offset as much as 80% of the electricity use at a local nonprofit organization, two affordable housing developments and a local business, saving them 17% at today’s electricity prices and fixing their electricity costs for the next 10 years.
“The Mill Street solar project is an example of how an investment in solar is an investment in the community,” said DeWitt Jones, President of BCC Solar Energy Advantage. “This project not only generates revenue for the city through the reuse of a former brownfield site, it also delivers energy savings to local groups and a business serving the Gardner community and its residents.”
The project is yet another example of Gardner’s commitment to renewable energy. The city already has a 2.5 MW solar project and several wind turbines, which together offset the electricity use in all municipal buildings and facilities. “Gardner has worked to find savings wherever possible to ensure that every City dollar is spent responsibly, and going solar has assisted the City in achieving this goal,” said Mark Hawke, mayor of the City of Gardner. “The existing wind projects located in the City, and our new solar installations are providing new revenue to the City, allowing us to significantly reduce our operating costs and uphold our commitment to implementing sustainable, environmentally friendly operations.”
The Mill Street solar project is one of eight solar projects recently completed by Boston Community Capital. The others are rooftop installations that serve affordable housing developments in Boston and Cambridge, the Greater Boston Food Bank, and the Boys & Girls Club of New Bedford. Boston Community Capital plans to complete another round of solar projects in 2015.