Pittsfield, Massachusetts to Have New England's Largest Solar Array
Tuesday, June 22nd 2010 9:55 PM
By GetSolar Staff.
The western Massachusetts city of Pittsfield will soon be the home of the largest solar installation in New England.
Western Massachusetts Electric Co. began construction of the solar facility on June 21 - the summer solstice and the longest day of the year. The solar installation is being built on a former General Electric electrical-products facility.
In fact, WMECo is targeting brownfields - sites contaminated by industrial activity - and landfills for future solar arrays. It's a smart strategy: Western Massachusetts is heavily forested and doesn't have a lot of open space for solar projects.
As Berkshire Economic Development Corp. president David Rooney noted at the groundbreaking ceremony, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill underscores the need to move to renewable sources of energy. It "is critical for us to move away from foreign oil and foreign energy generation and carbon-based fuels," local CBS affiliate WSHM quoted him as saying.
Solar projects like Pittsfield's will help western Massachusetts achieve that goal - and the cost won't be substantial. WMECo estimates that solar arrays will add just 30 cents per month to customers' electric bills.