Nexamp Inc. recently completed a 4.4 MW photovoltaic project in Charlton, Mass. – the largest managed growth project in 2014 as part of the state's SREC II program.
Boston-based Nexamp, which owns and manages the project, handled construction, design and development. Sol Systems was in charge of the tax equity syndication process.
Producing 5.76 million kWh of energy per year (enough to power 800 homes), the project provides net metering credits for the Town of Westford, Mass., and recurring tax revenue for Charlton. ‘It's a project that creates land use for the Town of Charlton and creates tax revenues to support their public services,’ says Nexamp CEO Zaid Ashai.
The land, a 30-acre greenfield on a 60% slope, was ‘pretty steep for a solar farm,’ says Nexamp's Sean Harrington, project manager. ‘There are challenges associated with that,’ he says, but the company completed the large-scale project in a little over three months, from the beginning of September to the end of December – a time frame that included a period of heavy rainfall.
Nexamp installed 14,564 Yingli modules using a screw-based, continuous-rack system, says Harrington. The project also incorporates Advanced Energy inverters, SolarBOS combiner boxes and ABB transformers.
Though it was a ‘great project from an interconnection standpoint,’ Harrington says, Nexamp did need to extend two circuits about 2/10 of a mile in order to connect the array to the grid.
‘From an engineering perspective, it's a very attractive project,’ Ashai says. ‘From an ownership perspective, it was very compelling,’ he adds, referring to the project being the largest of its kind under the 2014 managed growth sector of SREC II.
The SREC II program – which provides solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) regulations and incentives for the state and is a continuation of SREC I – has managed growth allocations for each year: ‘Projects that are a certain size have to fill in for certain blocks,’ and those blocks are filled through 2016, Ashai says. ‘This was the largest project in the 2014 time frame in that block period.’
Ashai predicts a steady growth trajectory for Massachusetts' commercial solar market, as well as for Nexamp. Part of this growth will come from SREC II, he says, which will be ‘a great stepping stone into that commonwealth goal of 1,600 MW [of solar installed].’
‘It could probably change the mix of projects a little bit more skewed toward rooftop, brownfield and carport projects, as well.’ At the same time, he says, the program continues to ‘create a stable mechanism to bring in private capital to the commonwealth to invest in infrastructure.’
Photo courtesy of Nexamp