Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray today joined MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey and other state and local officials in Hatfield to break ground on the latest solar array to be built on state highway property. The solar array will be capable of producing 70 kilowatts of electricity, enough to power MassDOT’s District 2 Highway Administration Building in its entirety.
“Governor Patrick and I have focused on investing in clean, renewable technology and energy,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “Our Administration continues to work across state agencies to advance green initiatives, and this project is a great example of how innovation can lead to costs savings and job creation in the region.”
Construction of the array will be complete by October 31, 2012, and will be done at no upfront cost to MassDOT by JF White. Instead of payment, MassDOT will be purchasing the clean power generated from the array, which under optimum environmental conditions, will a significant portion of power for MassDOT’s District 2 Highway Division Administration Building.
Under MassDOT’s GreenDOT Implementation Plan, the agency has set goals for reduction in the use of fossil fuel based energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and to improve air quality.
By the end of July, Massachusetts had more than 129 megawatts of solar power installed – enough electricity to power more than 20,404 homes. When compared with fossil fuel-generated electricity, it represents the equivalent of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from 13,870 cars per year.
As part of the project, the building will have equipment capable of switching between the solar array and the power grid. During clear days, the building will draw power from the solar array. During night hours or overcast days, the building will be powered by Western Massachusetts Electric Company.