Pine Gate Renewables, a fully integrated utility-scale solar development company, has closed financing on two new dual-use solar projects that will bring 9 MW of solar energy and storage to the community of Carver, Mass., while also maintaining the ground for cranberry farming.
Solar Carver 1 will be built on a 70-acre site that will produce 6 MW of energy, along with a 24 MWh storage battery. Solar Carver 3 will produce 3 MW and house a 12 MWh storage battery spreading across a 35-acre site. The long-duration batteries will allow the system to optimize its energy profile on the grid. The projects are expected to be completed late this year.
“We’re excited to continue playing a role in the advancement of agrivoltaics with Solar Carver 1 and 3 that will benefit local cranberry farmers and provide clean energy, tax dollars and jobs for the community,” says Ben Catt, CEO of Pine Gate Renewables.
Most solar projects are built using steel racking, but to create enough space for the cranberry bogs below, Pine Gate’s EPC team will engineer the Solar Carver projects to be built on 25-40 ft long wooden utility poles – which are more durable for the wet terrain. These poles will be driven 15-30 ft into the ground in order to keep the trackers at least 10 ft above the cranberry bogs and allow for annual fall harvesting.
The Solar Carver projects will provide temporary construction jobs to hundreds of workers during the build-out. The projects will be a part of the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program, a statewide solar incentive program with the intent to procure 3,200 MW of new solar projects.