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Here’s 11 solar projects recently turned on by Kearsarge Energy in Rhode Island, Massachusetts

Written by: Leonard Parker | solar news | July 2, 2021

Commercial operations have begun for over 34 MW of solar renewable energy and battery energy storage consisting of 11 individual projects in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. These projects generate tax and lease revenues for New England municipalities and allow local governments, low-income housing developments, nonprofits, universities, local school systems, RI Public Transit Authority and universities to receive discounted energy. The New England economy was a big winner amidst a tough year; development and construction generated almost 51 FTEs of professional and skilled labor and will continue to require local maintenance and operations staffing for the next 25+ years.

Kearsarge Energy financed and developed these solar and battery energy storage projects using its own sponsor equity, partnering with financial institutions for debt and tax equity. Kearsarge, as it does on all its projects, will own and operate them for the long term, underlining its leadership in sustainable energy development and operations in the Northeast. 

“It has been an extraordinarily productive year for Kearsarge Energy with the implementation of 11 projects in Massachusetts and Rhode Island,” said Andrew Bernstein, Managing Partner of Kearsarge Energy. “Our strong construction and financing partnerships were critical to our success in this environment and we are both gratified and energized to see these sites commence operations for our many stakeholders. In 2021/22, we’re setting an even quicker pace with 250 MW in development/construction and expansion into Maine, New Hampshire, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland.”

Project details

Twelve acres of underutilized land at the Haverhill Municipal landfill have been transformed into a renewable energy producer under the Massachusetts SMART Program. The project combines PV energy production (2800 kW AC) battery storage (2000 kW AC) to feed 4,650,000 kWh into the utility grid annually. In partnership with the city of Haverhill, energy savings, lease revenue, and tax income are estimated at $3.9 million over 20 years. Designed to provide habitat for local wildlife and to accommodate grazers and pollinators, the site will host a herd of sheep in 2021, with bird habitat and pollinator-friendly flora under and around panels. Sized at almost 3 MW DC, the site will produce almost 4 million kWh per year, reducing CO2 emissions by 3,089 tons per year.Compared to fossil fuel electrical generation, the Arsenal Yards installation generates clean energy that would otherwise release over 1,000 tons of CO2 per year with the credits providing discounted energy for low- and moderate-income families.Norfolk County Agricultural High School in Walpole, MA, saw the introduction of four rooftop arrays and a parking canopy this year, totaling over 1 MW DC. In addition to electricity savings via the Massachusetts SMART Program, the school plans to educate its students about solar energy through the use of portals that track energy production and detailed individual array status.Using unproductive land adjacent to the Windsor Congregational Church, Kearsarge began operations of a 1.4 MW DC ground mount solar array. In terms of carbon avoidance, the site matches the carbon sequestration of over 1,500 acres of forest and provides the church with annual lease revenues that mean stable income far into the future.