The Little Quittacas Pond Solar Energy Project is a 4.5 MWDC photovoltaic system that is the result of an innovative collaboration across several public, private and non-profit entities. The project was commissioned in the fall of 2013 and is one of several projects totaling more than 16 MW that BlueWave is developing for the City of New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Little Quittacas provides substantial environmental, economic and social benefits to New Bedford including annual electricity savings of more than $200,000 and reductions in CO2 emissions equivalent to permanently removing 733 cars from the roads or preserving 2,854 acres of forest for a year.
Situated on Rochester’s Little Quittacas Pond, and home to New Bedford’s water treatment plant, the project makes use of limited acreage set aside for infrastructure within the much larger 3,600-acre forest conservation land protected under an agreement between the City and the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. BlueWave Capital developed the project in partnership with ConEdison Solutions, a solar development and financing arm of Consolidated Edison, Inc. Real Goods Solar, a provider of clean, renewable energy solutions to homeowners and businesses across the United States since 1978, provided the engineering, procurement and construction services for the project. The complex federal, state and local permitting of the project was led by TRC Solutions, a national environmental engineering and consulting company based in Lowell, MA. Permitting was undertaken in close coordination with the Town of Rochester and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife and Department of Environmental Protection.
This project generates more than 5 million kWh of electricity each year, offsetting 100 percent of the electricity used by New Bedford’s Water Division. Little Quittacas has also allowed for further clearance of Red Pine, a non-native species that has been widely infected by combined insect and fungus attacks, leading to large numbers of dead and dying trees and increased risk to wildfire. In order to address the neighborhood’s interests, BlueWave and its development team designed and constructed a visual buffer to screen the project from its neighbors along North Street, while Rochester, as the host community for the project, will receive PILOT revenues of $800,000 over 20 years.