Western Massachusetts Electric Co. (WMECO) has filed with the Department of Public Utilities a plan to implement an integrated, large-scale solar energy program in its service area that can begin to generate power from photovoltaic facilities as early as 2010.
Under the Green Communities Act, passed in 2008, electric distribution companies like WMECO are authorized to play a critical role in meeting the state's solar energy goal of developing 250 MW of installed solar by 2017. Under the Green Communities Act, WMECO is allowed to own up to 50 MW of solar facilities.
‘Our program has been carefully designed to become a progressive model for utility-owned solar assets,’ says Peter Clarke, president and chief operating officer of WMECO. ‘The knowledge gained from the program also can be applied to other distributed renewable technologies, including wind and biomass, which are equally important to the state's goals for energy independence and energy security.’
In the first phase of the WMECO plan, eight locations have been identified as potential host sites of solar facilities. These locations represent many of the major categories of potential locations in the state, WEMCO says.