For Immediate Release - June 30, 2009

Patrick Administration Seeks Bids to Install 5.35 Megawatts of Solar Power at Publicly-Owned Facilities

Stimulus-funded projects will boost state's solar industry, create jobs, and reduce long-term energy costs for Massport's Logan International Airport, Somerville Housing Authority, Westfield State College, and Massachusetts Water Resources Authority facilities

BOSTON - As part of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state's economic future, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles today announced the first round of investments in approximately 16 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy at state-owned facilities throughout Massachusetts, including up to 2.75 MW atop Logan International Airport's four commercial passenger terminals.

The Massachusetts Solar Stimulus to invest $20 million to install solar PV systems at publicly-owned facilities is a cornerstone of the Commonwealth's plan for spending $54.9 million in State Energy Program federal funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

"These investments will expand the Commonwealth's clean energy sector, creating jobs while reducing fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions and building energy self-reliance across Massachusetts," Governor Patrick said.

EEA's Department of Energy Resources has announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the first round of Massachusetts Solar Stimulus projects. In addition to the Logan Airport installations, solar projects announced today include PV systems at nine Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) facilities, two Somerville Housing Authority developments, and a new residence hall at Westfield State College.

"Today's announcement marks the first round of the Commonwealth's Solar Big Bang," Secretary Bowles said. "These PV installations and others we will roll out in coming weeks will provide a shot in the arm for an already burgeoning solar industry - creating jobs and advancing Governor Patrick's pursuit of a clean energy future."

The Commonwealth had approximately 4 MW of installed solar power when Governor Patrick took office and setting the goal of 250 MW of solar power by 2017. Today, the state has over 11 MW of installed solar, plus 6.5 MW in the pipeline but not yet installed through the Commonwealth Solar rebate program. The Massachusetts Solar Stimulus could add up to 21 MW more - 16 MW funded through ARRA State Energy Plan monies, plus roughly 5 MW more paid for with State Revolving Fund revenue for green infrastructure projects at drinking and wastewater treatment facilities, also financed by ARRA.

In the coming weeks, the DOER plans to issue several additional RFPs for solar projects at state-owned properties around the state. DOER selected projects through an Energy Task Force convened by the Governor's office in preparation for receipt of ARRA funding. The Task Force identified over 13 MW of potential roof- and ground-mounted PV solar installations at a variety of state facilities, and an additional 5 MW at water and wastewater facilities. A Municipal Task Force pinpointed a number of additional projects. Future solicitations are expected to seek bids for solar installations at more colleges and housing projects, transportation facilities, and public buildings such as the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

DOER will also work with municipalities and with EEA's Department of Environmental Protection to develop volume solar procurements for municipal projects and projects at water and wastewater plants. Municipal projects will be funded with Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funding awarded to cities and towns through the ARRA.

Bids on the projects covered in today's RFP are due August 19, with a contracted expected to be awarded September 18, and work anticipated to begin within 120 of the award.

In addition to $20 million directed to the Massachusetts Solar Stimulus effort, the State Energy Plan submitted to the US Department of Energy in May calls for directing $14.9 million to an Energy Efficiency for State Facilities program that will implement efficiency retrofits in state facilities, and $20 million for a Massachusetts Building Energy Transformation effort to fund proposals to solve energy use challenges in buildings across the state.

The Massachusetts Solar Stimulus program will obtain competitive pricing through volume procurements and purchasing. In addition, Massachusetts is leveraging federal stimulus dollars with private financing to the fullest extent possible. While most Massachusetts Solar Stimulus projects will provide power for on-site demand, some may generate excess electricity that can be sold back to the power grid at competitive rates through the new net metering provisions of the Green Communities Act of 2008.

"These projects will deliver enormous public benefits," DOER Commissioner Phil Giudice said. "Besides deploying hundreds of workers and growing the bottom lines of clean energy companies, the state and municipal facilities that host the projects will see reductions in their long-term operating costs - freeing them from the potential price volatility associated with fossil fuel-generated electricity."

PV projects included in DOER's first Massachusetts Solar Stimulus RFI include:

(Project capacity is estimated, based on project site square footage. Actual project size and details will be determined through the contracting process.)

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

  • Deer Island Administration Lab Building 160 kilowatts (kW)
  • Deer Island North Main Pump Station 60 kW
  • Carroll Water Treatment Plant Operations Building 450 kW
  • Carroll Water Treatment Plant Post-treatment Building 50 kW
  • Carroll Water Treatment Plant Generator Building 40 kW
  • Carroll Water Treatment Plant - Ground mount 500 kW
  • Biosolids Processing Facility 400 kW
  • Clinton Treatment Plant East PV Location 90 kW
  • Clinton Treatment Plant West PV Location 140 kW

Department of Housing and Community Development

  • Somerville Housing Authority, 2 Mystic River 300 kW
  • Somerville Housing Authority, 1 Clarendon Hill 250 kW

Massachusetts Port Authority (Logan Airport)

  • Terminal A 750 kW
  • Terminal B 500 kW
  • Terminal C 750 kW
  • Terminal E 750 kW

Westfield State College

  • New Residence Hall 150 kW

Investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency are critical components of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, which combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:

  • Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;
  • Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future, and support clean energy, broadband, and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and
  • Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.

For more information about the Massachusetts Solar Stimulus RFP, click here.