The Estabrook Street solar project in Grafton, Massachusetts, is another example of BlueWave’s achieving multiple objectives that will benefit a wide array of stakeholders simultaneously. The solar development—which will have a capacity of 2.6 MWDC when both phases I and II are completed—is situated amidst lush farmland on a gently sloping land owned by the Knowlton family’s trust.
This project has come together through excellent teamwork by BlueWave and its partners. Carole Knapp, who works as a scout for BlueWave, used her high-energy approach and diligence to acquire the development rights to this site. Paul Knowlton himself is a solar convert, who has already installed a photovoltaic system on his own house. Rounding out this team were Pro-Tech, which managed construction; Commonwealth Electrical Technologies of Worcester, which performed the electrical work; and G Lopes Construction of Taunton, which provided key site work such as the creation of the detention pond. SunEdison invested in this project as one site in the 20 MW portfolio it purchased from BlueWave.
Lease payments financially support Paul Knowlton’s farm, which occupies the balance of the family’s land. The solar panels add to the assessed value of the land, meaning about $500,000 over the lifetime of the project will flow to the Town of Grafton. All of us gain from the environmental impact of the project, which will generate about 3.4 million kWh of clean electricity in its first year. That’s like taking 494 cars off the road or growing 60,000 trees for 10 years.