MassDOT Renewable Energy Projects

Projects initiated under the MassDOT-Highway Renewable Energy Program.

MassDOT utilizes the public & private partnership business model to install photovoltaic systems (PV). The awarded contractor leases pre-approved MassDOT properties for solar facilities. MassDOT purchases power from the developer at fixed rates for the duration of the lease.

This arrangement allows our state agency to benefit financially in multiple ways:

  • Zero upfront capital costs.
  • Full utilization of federal tax incentives through the private partner.
  • Positive cash flow from the difference between power purchased from contractor and credits applied to utility accounts.
  • Lease revenue for the developer's use of state properties

Table of Contents

Highway Right-of-Way Solar Project

In the summer of 2013, MassDOT issued a Request for Response to install solar PV generating facilities at multiple parcels within the State highway layout with a minimal of 6 MW aggregated capacity.

As of March 1, 2020 MassDOT-Highway has developed approximately 4.3 MW of PV at eight sites across the state. These sites combine to generate approximately 5,300,000 kWh of energy annually, which is equal to the average power consumption of 875 homes in Massachusetts. Replacing that amount of electricity in the current ISO-NE grid with solar power leads to 2.3 tons of CO2 emission reduction annually.

MassDOT-Highway saves approximately $600,000 annually or $12 Million over the 20-year contract period at the sites.

Project Sites Annual Production

Location  System Type  System Size kW Power Generated kWh CO2 Reduction Tons 872 lbs/MWh
Framingham, I-90, Exit 10 North   Ground Mount  649  787,000  343 
Framingham, I-90, Exit 10 South  Ground Mount  649  853,000  372 
Framingham, I-90, Service Plaza  Ground Mount  318  410,000  179 
Natick, I-90, Embankment   Ground Mount  272  327,000  143 
Hopkinton, Research & Materials  Carports & Rooftop  550  575,000  251 
Plymouth, Route 3, Service Plaza  Ground Mount  562  727,000  317 
Salisbury, Rabbit Road, Depot  Ground Mount  646  836,000  364 
West Stockbridge, I-90, Former Toll Plaza  Ground Mount  646  744,000  324 
Totals     4292  5,259,000  2,293 

Future Development

Massachusetts has transitioned from the SCREC to the SMART renewable energy incentive program. MassDOT-Highway continues to explore approved sites where economic benefits exists based on the new program guidelines and the utility territory in which those sites reside.

There are three Park & Ride in Southeastern Massachusetts that we hope to advance under the SMART program: Plymouth, New Bedford and Harwich. The three sites will combine for approximately 1.2 MW of additional power generating capacity in the form of solar carports installed over paved parking areas.

Solar Production Sites

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