The solar farm being developed on River Road West in Berlin, Massachusetts, is another good example of BlueWave’s utilizing less productive land for energy production, thus leaving prime farmland for its most suitable purpose. This 3.75 MWDC project, when complete, will represent a win-win-win for the environment, landowners, and the Town.
Prior to this project, the Wheeler family of Berlin had been using the site for timber harvesting and composting as the property is industrially zoned. As these uses were no longer financially viable, BlueWave’s leasing of the land from the Wheelers was highly beneficial for both parties—the company found an ideal site for solar while this deeply rooted farming family was able to hold onto the land that had been with them for generations. BlueWave’s experience with the Town of Berlin and its Conservation Commission was equally positive.
BlueWave led the development efforts with the River Road West site, finding the land, acquiring the rights to develop it, and signing a long-term lease. It then engaged SunEdison (NYSE: SUNE) for financing the project. SunEdison contracted with Pro-Tech Energy Solutions to serve as the EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) on the project.
The 3.75 MW across four photovoltaic (PV) arrays will generate about 4,875,000 kWh of electricity for the Town of Berlin each year. That is the equivalent of 708 cars removed from U.S. roads or 86,194 tree seedlings grown for 10 years. At an economic level this project will be similarly advantageous for the Town, which is set to gain substantial revenue over the lifetime of the project.