Western Massachusetts Electric Co. (WMECo) has formally launched development of a large-scale solar energy facility in the Indian Orchard section of Springfield, Mass. The selected site, owned by the Springfield Redevelopment Authority, encompasses 12 acres and will accommodate 8,200 solar panels producing 2.2 MW of electricity.
Upon completion, the Indian Orchard facility will join WMECo's Silver Lake Solar Facility in Pittsfield as one of the largest in the Northeast region, the company says. The project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.
The Commonwealth has a goal of installing 250 MW of solar generation by 2017. Under the Green Communities Act, each Massachusetts electric utility may own up to 50 MW of solar, subject to approval by the Department of Public Utilities. WMECo says it is currently authorized to install 6 MW of solar by 2012.