Ameresco Inc. has partnered with the Town of Westport, Mass., to install a 622 kW ground-mounted solar system at a closed landfill.
Ameresco will be responsible for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of the solar farm at its own expense.
As part of the agreement, Ameresco is leasing the land housing the solar panels from Westport and making an annual payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) to the town. Westport did not put up any capital and will not need to expend any operating funds tied to the project, notes Ameresco.
“Using the closed landfill for a solar project has been an objective of the town, the board of selectmen and the energy committee for 10 years,” says Tim King, town administrator. “The town is utilizing a non-productive asset – the closed landfill – for a revenue-generating activity. The town is furthering our energy goals by supporting a renewable energy source on town property. We have been very pleased with this partnership. Ameresco has been a supportive and collaborative partner to us throughout the entire process.”
“The Town of Westport is doing what other innovative and resourceful towns and municipalities should do, which is to think about ways to generate revenue,” adds David J. Anderson, executive vice president and director at Ameresco. “At the same time, Westport is prioritizing renewable energy and creatively utilizing underleveraged space – a closed landfill – that has little other opportunities for development or revenue generation. Other communities should look to the Town of Westport as an example of both fiscal responsibility and environmental stewardship.”
The project is anticipated to reach commercial operation in August.