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Northampton, Secretary Davey, Solar Array, December 19, 2012MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey today joined state and local officials for the “switching on” ceremony of MassDOT’s solar array located at the District 2 Highway Division Administration Building in Northampton.  The array has the capacity to power up to one-third of the building’s energy needs under optimum conditions and has space to expand in the future.

“Today we’re here to celebrate a milestone in the way we think about our transportation assets and how we utilize them,” said Secretary Davey.  “As we continue to search for new ways to reduce our costs, save money, and improve our customers’ experience, this project stands as an example that takes a major step toward accomplishing all three of those goals.”  

Solar array construction completed in October includes no upfront cost to taxpayers.  Project contractor, JF White, funded construction in exchange for Solar Renewable Energy Credits.  After a solar facility is properly certified, the credits accrue as the facility generates power and can be sold and traded on the open market.  

This is the first time any state agency has used a state highway layout to construct a clean energy generation facility.  One other municipal facility exists on state highway layout in the town of Carver.

As part of the project, the building has been outfitted with equipment with the capability of switching between the solar array and the power grid.  During clear days, the building will draw power from the solar array; during night time hours or during overcast days, the building will be powered by Western Massachusetts Electric Company.

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