National Grid Expands Massachusetts Solar Facilities

National Grid, a New England Council member, announced plans on Monday to install solar panels at 19 sites around Massachusetts. The expansion is one of the largest solar projects in the state, and is expected to generate enough electrical energy to power 3,200 homes a year.

The installations will be located on public and private land, and are expected to include about 50,000 solar panels with 16 megawatts of power capacity. This will be added to the existing 700 megawatts of capacity that exists throughout the state already, including at the solar facilities of Northeast Utilities, a fellow NEC member. The expansion of such facilities is promising to bill-payers; a recent Deutsche Bank report said that solar electricity prices are on track to match or even fall lower than average electricity prices in most states by 2016, assuming various government incentive programs remain in place. Construction of the project is expected to be completed by June 2015.

“Solar generation is an increasingly important piece of the energy picture for Massachusetts and the entire country,” said Edward White, vice president of Customer Strategy and Environmental, National Grid. “National Grid is proud to join the Commonwealth in taking a leadership role to develop this vital clean energy source. As our network and our customers’ expectations evolve, we anticipate more opportunities for our company to strategically invest in new energy sources and technologies on behalf of our customers.”

The state’s goal in 2007 was to build 250 megawatts of solar power capacity by 2017. It passed that mark last year and is now working towards a new goal of 1,600 megawatts by 2020. The New England Council applauds National Grid for its tremendous efforts toward meeting these goals and advancing clean energy in New England.

Read more in National Grid’s press release.

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