National Grid Begins Construction on Solar Generation Project
April 13, 2015, WALTHAM, MA /3BL Media/ – Spring has officially begun, and as the sun begins to shine brighter each day, National Grid will bring more solar power to the region. As a part of National Grid’s commitment to increase the amount of clean, renewable energy in the area, the company today announced it will begin construction of a 650 kilowatt solar generation facility on farmland located at 40 Auburn Road in Millbury, Massachusetts. It is one of the first sites to receive approval for construction as part of National Grid’s plan to build solar power generation facilities in 19 new locations, resulting in an additional 16 megawatts (MW) of solar generation capacity for the state.
The solar installation will pilot the use of advanced inverters, an emerging technology in the solar industry that will allow National Grid to test new ways of regulating voltage. The company plans to conduct robust research and development using the inverters, with the intent to drive innovation around how solar projects provide services back to the grid. The pilot may lead to additional and more reliable solar capacity in areas that currently are electrically constrained. It may also enable greater efficiencies in interconnecting distributed generation, creating broader opportunities for customers to install solar panels and maximize the energy generated.
“We’re excited to be a part of bringing new, clean energy generation to our state,” said Edward White, vice president of Customer Strategy and Environmental, National Grid. “This installation supports the growth of renewable energy in the Commonwealth. It’s an important part of our ongoing efforts to positively impact the way our communities think about, and use, solar power for years to come.”
National Grid is teaming up with a local company, Borrego Solar Systems Inc., to begin construction this month. Once operational, the site will generate enough electricity to power 130 homes for one year. The construction will bring new jobs to the community and will result in tax benefits for the town of Millbury.
“As a forward-thinking municipality, we want to be involved with green energy solutions that benefit our community members and the environment,” said Millbury Town Manager Bob Spain. “This project will help us on our path to achieve that goal.”
Under the Green Communities Act, electric utilities are allowed to construct, own and operate up to 50 megawatts (MW) of solar generation. In 2009, National Grid received approval from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to build, own and operate five MW of solar generation on its properties. The company’s solar installations in Dorchester, Everett, Haverhill, Revere and Sutton/Northbridge currently have the potential to generate approximately 15 megawatt-hours each day.
National Grid’s approach to planning and operating energy infrastructure in the Northeast, which the company calls Connect21, aligns with the Commonwealth’s goal to install 1,600 MW of solar generation in Massachusetts by 2020. In addition to its own installations, the company has connected more than 300 MWs of third party-owned solar generation in the state.
National Grid empowers customers and communities by linking customer needs and public policy goals with technology and market solutions, thus driving energy productivity, a cleaner energy environment and more robust local economies. The company will continue to play a pivotal role in enabling new technologies to be implemented more quickly, serving as a community catalyst for solar generation, electric vehicles and more.
About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.
Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities' long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization).
About Borrego Solar
Established in 1980, Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. is one of the nation’s leading financiers, designers, developers and installers of commercial and utility solar power systems. Borrego Solar’s photovoltaic systems are efficient, reliable and cost-effective. With more than three decades of experience and more than 1,000 solar power installations completed—totaling over 150 MW—Borrego Solar offers a complete line of solar system design and installation services throughout North America. Borrego Solar was recently ranked as the #2 commercial EPC in the United States and the #2 commercial contractor in California by Solar Power World. For more information, visit www.borregosolar.com .