How MassDOT’s Solar Energy Initiative Is Fueling Public Highway Projects

The Bay State Is Serious About Solar

How MassDOT's Solar Energy Initiative Is Fueling Public Highway Projects

The state of Massachusetts recently made news for coming in second in the nation for solar job growth. With more than 1,500 solar employees working toward the ambitious RPS goal of sourcing 15% of the state’s energy from renewables by 2020, it’s clear that the Bay State is serious about solar.

But the state’s solar job growth isn’t the only news. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Solar PV Energy Program is making waves, as well.

Partners in Forging a Solar Future

Under MassDot’s solar initiative, the agency will lease public solar development sites to private solar contractors, who will then develop, build, and maintain the solar facilities. It’s a win-win, both for the state and for developers.

For its part, the state benefits from zero upfront solar cost solar installations; lease revenue; a reliable, 20-year guaranteed electricity rate that insulates it from energy cost fluctuations; and substantial savings through net metering. There’s also the benefit of using unused or underutilized state land, such as highway right-of-way parcels to generate revenue.

On the other side of the partnership, solar developers are granted exclusive rights to the associated tax incentives and solar renewable energy credits, or SRECs, which can be sold on the open market to business interested in offsetting their carbon emissions.

Phase II on the Horizon

Currently, the five installations scheduled for the Solar Energy Initiative have been completed. They include several arrays along I-90 and another at Plymouth Route 3, exit 5. The next phase will introduce five more solar installations, which are slated for completion in Fall of 2016, net metering cap permitting.

That’s a Lot of Electricity!

On average, the planned installations will each have a capacity just shy of 550 kW. It’s estimated that each year, they’ll collectively generate more than 7 million kWh of electricity for the state of Massachusetts. That’s enough to power more than 1,000 homes and reduce the states overall carbon emissions by more than 6 million pounds of CO2.

Solar Is Popping Up Everywhere

It’s truly amazing how far solar has come in just the last decade. Not too long ago, solar panels were an uncommon sight in Massachusetts, but these days, you’re likely to see quite a few of them during your daily commute.

Of course, solar power isn’t just for government agencies; it’s also a great way to save money and reduce your own carbon footprint. If you’re interested in powering your home or business with clean, renewable solar energy, then we’d be happy to put in in touch with our professional solar installers. Get in touch today.

[Photo via: Wikimedia]