The company plans a nearly eightfold increase in its solar commitment
BOSTON – Eversource will soon begin breaking ground on new solar projects across Massachusetts following approval by the Department of Public Utilities of the company’s plan to increase its commitment to clean solar energy. The plan, which calls for construction of new utility-scale solar facilities across the commonwealth, will increase the amount of solar power produced by Eversource in Massachusetts from eight megawatts currently to a maximum of 70 megawatts statewide.
“We’re proud to be a leader in the clean energy future of Massachusetts as we bring more competitively priced, zero-emission solar power to customers across the commonwealth,” said Jim Judge, President and CEO at Eversource. “We applaud and share the vision of state policy leaders to make the benefits of green energy available to an increasing number of homes, businesses and communities.”
Along with the significant environmental benefits of increasing the number of utility-scale solar plants in Massachusetts, there are substantial cost-saving benefits for Eversource customers as well. The company estimates it will produce solar power for about 18 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to upwards of 50 cents per kilowatt-hour for some private projects currently operating within the commonwealth.
Eversource will sell the solar energy it produces directly into the regional energy market and customers will benefit from the proceeds. Additionally, the company will receive Solar Renewable Energy Credits for the power it produces and will pass the savings along to customers through electricity rates. As a regulated electric utility in Massachusetts, Eversource will not receive net metering credits, which further reduces the price to customers.
Federal investment tax credits available for the construction of the new facilities and a substantial drop in the cost of solar panels – combined with the company’s ability to buy in bulk and readily access favorable financing – also offer substantial customer savings.
Eversource’s experience in building and operating large-scale solar facilities in Massachusetts dates back to 2010, when it built its first plant in Pittsfield. The company also built and operates two additional facilities, both located in Springfield. Once its new plants are operational, the total amount of solar electricity Eversource will be capable of generating will be enough to power more than 10,000 homes. The company’s new facilities will also represent a significant reduction in greenhouse emissions, equivalent to taking over 6,000 cars off the road per year.
Eversource is currently in the process of identifying parcels of land most suitable for the project and seeking local approval for construction. The company anticipates completing its list of proposed sites by May and expects to complete construction of all new facilities by the end of 2017.
Eversource reminds customers that the company never solicits energy supply or solar facilities of any kind to its customers.
Eversource (NYSE: ES) transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas to 1.7 million customers throughout Massachusetts, including approximately 1.4 million electric customers in 140 communities and 300,000 gas customers in 51 communities. Recognized as the top U.S. utility for its energy efficiency programs by the sustainability advocacy organization Ceres, Eversource harnesses the commitment of its approximately 8,000 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and superior customer service. For more information, please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter (@eversourceMA) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceMA.)