Six municipal utilities partner on 7 MW solar project


The Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. (MMWEC), the state’s joint action agency for municipal utilities, announced plans to build a 7 MW, $14.5 million solar project at its facility in Ludlow, an hour west of Boston. Six MMWEC municipal utility members are participating in the project.

The ground-mounted solar project will be built on a 30-acre section of MMWEC’s 200-acre property. After receiving responses to its request for proposals, MMWEC is working on a contract with EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions Inc. as the project developer.

Using its unique statutory financing authority as a political subdivision of the Massachusetts government, MMWEC plans to use a local financial institution to issue tax-exempt revenue bonds to finance the project.

Municipal utilities serving Boylston, Ipswich, Mansfield, Marblehead, Peabody, and Wakefield are participating in the project. The project was developed in alignment with the state’s decarbonization goals. It enables member utilities that may not have locations for projects within their own communities to add more solar to their power portfolios.

Construction is scheduled to start this summer, with the project expected to come online by late 2021. Local contractors will be favored, the sponsors said.

According to a local report, all but one of the six municipal utilities previously partnered on a 19.6 MW wind farm, which began operations in 2011 and represented a total investment in excess of $76 million.

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