Brookline eyeing more solar installations with new partner


By Ignacio Laguarda

Posted Jul. 23, 2014 @ 9:00 am

Source: Wicked Local Brookline

Brookline has a new solar partner, and the first order of business is finding out which buildings in town could use a rooftop solar array.

BlueWave Capital, based out of Boston, is the new solar developer, and is taking over for Broadway Electric, the town’s previous solar installer.

Broadway unexpectedly closed their operation in January, leaving the town without a partner. Broadway had been selected as part of a regional procurement process by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council about two years ago.

Brookline joined 17 other municipalities in the procurement process. But after Broadway dropped out, the MAPC had to find a replacement.

They ultimately chose BlueWave, which had been ranked second by the council.

Melissa Goff, Brookline’s assistant town administrator, was part of the MAPC’s selection committee that chose Blue Wave as the new installer.

She said she spoke with BlueWave representatives last Friday and they are planning on doing site visits at various locations in town to assess solar possibilities.

Previously, the town had identified the Main Library and the Evelyn Kirrane Aquatics Center as possible locations for solar arrays, and BlueWave will look at both spots. The library roof was just recently replaced, an ideal time to install solar arrays, said Lara Curtis Hayes, senior planner with the town.

Hayes said the town submitted a number of new buildings to BlueWave for solar consideration.

Once installed, Brookline would enter into a “power purchase agreement” with BlueWave in which the town would set guidelines for buying power generated by the solar panels. The town would not, however, spend any money for the installation of the panels, and will not own the panels once installed.

One project that already has the green light from the town’s Board of Selectmen is a planned solar array at Singletree Hill Reservoir in Chestnut Hill.

Hayes said the town is still hammering out the details of the installation and making sure it is structurally sound, since there is an underground reservoir on the site.

“It’s a little more complicated than your standard roof,” she said.

The array would be the first ground-mounted one in town, and the third town-owned solar energy installation in Brookline, joining the Health Department building and Putterham Branch Library.

Because the panels will not be on a roof and no town-owned building is nearby, the destination of the energy is still unclear.

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