Main Street Power’s Capped Landfill Solar Project Wins Big at PV America

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A Main Street Power Company project wins the 2014 Photovoltaic Project of Distinction award from the SEIA and SEPA. The project is notable for being built over a landfill and features a unique power monitoring program that is accessible to the public.

Solar on landfills is becoming popular, and now it’s even winning awards.

A 3 MW solar installation built on a capped landfill in the town of Scituate, Massachusetts, received one of four 2014 “Photovoltaic Project of Distinction” awards at PV America from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). “Scituate Solar I” was chosen by the judges from among a pool of 21 semifinalist projects.

The 17-acre project was developed by Brightfields Development, LLC and Syncarpha Solar, LLC, and was engineered and built by Gehrlicher Solar America Corp. Scituate Solar I is owned and operated by Main Street Power Company Inc., in partnership with MS Solar Solutions Corp. The project was financed with a power purchase agreement with the town of Scituate and a debt facility provided by KeyBank. It qualified for the 1603 Treasury Grant and the SREC I program administered by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.

Additional award-winning attributes of the project include design and engineering considerations that maintain the integrity of the sensitive landfill cap. This is not the first such project to be situated on a landfill, but is an excellent example of how to repurpose the space. Scituate Solar I also provides educational benefits with Brightfields Development’s solar energy curriculum. This consists of an online monitoring system that measures the project’s real-time and cumulative energy output and is accessible to teachers, students, and the general public.

Scituate has become the first town in America to power 100% of its city-owned facilities with renewable energy.

“The town of Scituate is very pleased with the support we received from our energy partners in helping us achieve our goal of being 100% self-sufficient in powering all of our town with renewable energy,” said Albert Bangert, Director of Special Projects for the town. “We started down this path to improve cost efficiency for our taxpayers and reduce our carbon footprint as a municipality. By combining wind and solar energy sources to power our schools, emergency services, harbor, street lights, and sewer and water treatment facilities, we capitalize on New England’s variable weather conditions.”