Solar energy facility behind Bolton farm stand supports operations at historic Bolton Orchards
Bolton, Mass., November 12, 2013---Main Street Power Company, Inc. ("Main Street Power"), in partnership with MS Solar Solutions Corp., an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Morgan Stanley, and project developers Syncarpha Solar, LLC ("Syncarpha") and Renewable Energy Massachusetts LLC ("REM"), will celebrate the end of construction on a six megawatt (6MW) solar energy facility on a former gravel pit at Bolton Orchards in Bolton, Massachusetts. A ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by project partners will be held on Thursday November 14, 2013 from 1-2:30 p.m., with an optional tour of the facility. Local officials and representatives from the state's Departments of Agriculture and Energy Resources will attend and speak.
In addition to significant environmental benefits, the 20,774-panel solar facility and accompanying long-term ground lease provide operating revenue to Bolton Orchards, which enables continued operation of its historic fruit harvesting operation well into the future. The 250-acre working farm and fruit orchard began operations in the 1930s, and its commercial farm stand remains a popular destination for both locals and tourists. Bolton Orchards preferred to host a clean energy facility rather than sell the 50-acre solar site to residential developers. Joel O'Toole, Managing Partner of Bolton Orchards, said, "We believed that the solar farm concept would be a win-win for everyone involved and a great re-use of our land. We are extremely proud to see this facility generating clean, renewable energy for the citizens of Bolton and surrounding towns, while helping sustain the farm."
The Town of Bolton will benefit from the solar facility's annual property taxes, while the nearby Town of Chelmsford, MA, with higher electricity demand and capacity than Bolton, will purchase most of the Bolton facility's 7.4 million kilowatt hours of annually generated electricity under the Massachusetts DPU net metering incentive program. Chelmsford's Town Manager Paul Cohen worked with his town officials to negotiate a 25-year Net Metering Power Sales Agreement (NMPSA) with Main Street Power, who owns and operates the facility. The Town of Chelmsford receives 25 years of discounted electricity rates for the energy produced by the solar facility under the NMPSA. From its Boston sales and engineering office, Gehrlicher Solar America Corp. designed, engineered and constructed the project using majority local labor. The Bolton solar facility's annual energy output is roughly equal to the electricity needs of 1,000 typical U.S. residences.
"Our mission is to deliver clean renewable energy in partnership with local communities and developers," said Amory Host, CEO of Main Street Power. With the earlier completion of projects in Stow and Scituate, he added, "We are pleased to be hereby completing our third such project in Massachusetts per the Commonwealth's 2008 Green Communities Act."
"We at REM believe that local distributed solar energy facilities, like this one at Bolton Orchards, help to move our electricity supply in a cleaner direction, since it still remains the case that 42% of America's electricity is sourced by coal plants," said Brian Kopperl, Managing Partner of REM. He added, "Without the net metering and Solar Renewable Energy Credit incentives mandated by the Green Communities Act, we wouldn't be having this ribbon-cutting event in Bolton."
Media are encouraged to attend the ceremony and may request a press pass and project facts in advance. Digital press kit and photos for media use (photo credit Jerry Holmes).
What: Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for 6MW Solar Farm at Bolton Orchards (rain or shine)
When: Thursday, November 14, 2013 from 1-2:30 p.m. EST (optional tour at 2:15 p.m.)
Where: Bolton Orchards, 125 Still River Road (Jct. 110 & 117), Bolton, MA 01740
Public Parking: 95 Forbush Mill Road, Bolton (Bolton Transfer Station/Recycling Center). The event will be located a short walk up to the ridgeline overlooking the solar facility.
In the event of rain or inclement weather, the event will be held in the protected apple shed adjacent to the Bolton Orchards storefront at 125 Still River Road. Parking in Bolton Orchards store parking lots and to the rear of the store.
Phil Henson, CFO, Main Street Power
Mark Sylvia, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Greg Watson, Commissioner, Department of Agricultural Resources
Brian Kopperl, Managing Partner, Renewable Energy Massachusetts
Lori Ribeiro, Director of Business Development, Gehrlicher Solar America Corp.
Kate Hogan, State Representative, Third Middlesex District
About Main Street Power
Main Street Power Company, Inc. delivers renewable power through distributed generation solar projects. Main Street Power owns and operates over fifty megawatts of solar assets at schools, colleges, cities, utilities, and nonprofits through a partnership with MS Solar Solutions Corp. A commitment to solving social and environmental problems through clean energy, local jobs creation, and solar science education for children has earned Main Street Power a three-star GIIRS rating by B-Lab, the global social impact rating organization. Visit the company online at mainstreetpower.com.
About MS Solar Solutions Corp.
MS Solar Solutions Corp. (MSSS) is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), one of the world's leading financial institutions. MSSS focuses on helping to develop and finance solar photovoltaic (PV) projects through strategic relationships with industry participants including developers, suppliers, installers, governmental agencies and the community at-large.
About Renewable Energy Massachusetts LLC
Renewable Energy Massachusetts LLC (REM) is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based solar energy development company founded in 2009 with a mission to develop large-scale solar projects in the home state of its co-founders, Brian Kopperl and Bob Knowles. REM has been an active participant in the Massachusetts DOER and DPU regulatory rule-making process for solar, and is currently developing several megawatt-scale solar energy projects in partnership with Massachusetts landowners, municipalities, utilities and other large energy off-takers.
About Syncarpha Solar LLC
Syncarpha Solar is a firm that is dedicated to developing, owning and operating commercial and utility scale solar photovoltaic ("PV") systems throughout the US and Canada. Syncarpha uses an end-to-end approach to develop, own and operate solar plants, leveraging best of breed technology and expertise in both the finance and renewable energy fields. Syncarpha currently owns nearly eight megawatts ("MW") of operating assets in New Jersey and Arizona and has over 200MW of projects under development in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, British Columbia and Ontario.
About Gehrlicher Solar America Corp. (GSAC)
Leveraging a 19-year corporate history which encompasses pioneering innovation and over 750 MW of project installations worldwide, GSAC provides cost effective, high performance solar PV systems to the Americas marketplace. Since 2010, GSAC has employed a proven business model which resulted in near 150 MW of PV projects built across the United States. In 2012 Gehrlicher opened an office in Boston to support its rapidly expanding New England market and will have 75MW built or in final construction in Massachusetts by end of 2013. Gehrlicher Solar America Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary under the holding company M+W Americas, a full service architectural, engineering, and construction management firm that offers a broad range of global services to public and private clients.