BlueWave’s solar development on Barney Avenue in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, is a great example of how careful project siting can result in positive outcomes for all stakeholders–the landowners, the Town, and neighbors alike. Ultimately, this will lead to 1.0 MWDC of clean electricity credits for the Town, the preservation of the best land for farming, and–due to its seclusion–no project visibility to those traveling along Barney Avenue.
Amidst prime farmland in this coastal community, BlueWave worked with closely with Rehoboth’s Conservation Commission as well as the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to select agricultural land that is not prime, and has been only a source of hay, rather than food crops. The Commission was also instrumental in helping BlueWave to remove a minimal number of trees, preserving the forest surrounding this site. There are no wetlands in the immediate vicinity, another reason this site was ideal.
After permitting the site, BlueWave partnered with the Clean Energy Collective (CEC), which has designated this project as one of the first community shared solar sites in the Commonwealth. The CEC specializes in community solar and developed this model of shared ownership first in Colorado, where the company is based, and now in the Bay State, beginning with projects like this one in Rehoboth. Under this model, any utility customer can purchase part of a solar farm that is located nearby but not on their property. The solar power feeds into the grid and the customer receives the benefits from the panels they own in the form of credits toward their electricity bills.
BlueWave and the CEC engaged RGS Energy, an excellent EPC (provider of engineering, procurement, and construction services) to build the solar farm. In addition, Field Engineering, based in neighboring Mattapoisett, and Epsilon Associates, provided engineering support and natural resources consulting, respectively.
From an economic perspective, this solar project is advantageous at many levels. Not only will it lower consumers’ electric bills, lease payments from the CEC will support the Almeida family, who own and continue to farm the remaining arable land. The Town of Rehoboth and its residents also benefit from tax revenues generated by the solar installation, the presence of which will boost the overall value of the property.