Borrego Solar Systems Inc., along with Syncarpha Capital and Renewable Energy Massachusetts (REM), has completed a 5 MW solar array located on the Town of Palmer, Mass.’ capped landfill. The Palmer Landfill Solar Project will generate clean solar energy and net metering credits that deliver significant energy savings to the Town of Andover.
The Town of Palmer will receive long-term lease payments and tax revenue. These funds will in turn be used to bolster the town’s operating budget and to fund programs that benefit the town’s residents.
As with the Palmer Airfield project, Syncarpha Capital co-developed the Palmer Landfill project with REM and will own and operate the solar array for the life of the project. Borrego Solar designed, engineered and constructed the project, and will also provide ongoing O&M services for both facilities.
Syncarpha Capital owns and operates eight Massachusetts solar projects, located in Palmer, Bolton, North Adams, Middleborough, Freetown, and Leominster, and has developed more than 60 MW of solar throughout the state.
“We at Syncarpha Capital are very pleased to partner with the Towns of Palmer and Andover in this exciting energy project,” said Cliff Chapman, managing partner at Syncarpha Capital. “This project is creating tangible economic and environmental benefits for the towns involved and for Massachusetts. We continue to develop solar energy projects similar to this throughout Massachusetts and other states across the U.S., as well as seeking to acquire similar projects from other solar industry business partners.”
The Town of Andover, located approximately 90 miles northeast of Palmer, is purchasing most of the state net metering credits from the energy generated by the project through a Net Metering Credit Power Purchase and Sale Agreement with Syncarpha Capital. As a result, Andover is set to experience significant energy-cost savings over the life of the 20-year agreement.
“The reason Palmer deserves recognition for its energy initiatives is two-fold,” said Zak Farkes, Massachusetts project developer at Borrego Solar. “The Town is not only monetizing land that previously cost them money, it has also removed road blocks by instituting a large-scale solar zoning ordinance to allow for solar development in its boundaries so other energy users and landowners can benefit from solar. As a result, Palmer is bringing investment to the area and creating employment opportunities for its residents and those nearby.”
The Palmer Landfill Solar Project is a qualified brownfield/landfill project under the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources SREC II solar energy incentive program, which was specifically designed to incentivize and thereby increase solar development of solar on landfills and brownfields in the state.
”We applaud the Towns of Palmer and Andover for their proactive, forward-thinking, and collaborative approach to our public/private partnership model,” said Bob Knowles, partner at REM. “We all look forward to several decades of economic and environmental benefit to be realized by these side-by-side solar projects in Palmer.”
As a state-designated Green Community, Palmer has taken on numerous initiatives to reduce energy use and its carbon footprint, including improving energy efficiency at most of its municipal buildings and building a solar thermal facility at its wastewater treatment plant. The town also sources 100% of its energy for its municipal buildings from one of the other solar projects located in Palmer.