A Massachusetts city will save $80,000 a year on utility expenses after switching on its new solar installation on a former landfill.
The old city dump in Methuen, Mass. is the new home of a 1.3-megawatt solar array that includes 5,000 ground-mountain solar panels from Borrego Solar.
Borrego has been doing a strong business in Massachusetts and has installed more than 24 percent of the solar in the state, according to a release from the company.
The City of Methuen has been a big contributor to the rapid growth of the solar industry in Massachusetts. The landfill project, a cutting-edge brown field installation that makes use of otherwise unusable land, is just the latest in a series of solar investments the city is making.
Methuen is pursuing up to 10 megawatts of net metering credits from its local utility. That is the maximum any entity can get. The Commonwealth for Municipalities set 10 megawatts as the limit.
“With the connection of the panels to the grid and the landfill now officially generating power for our City’s facilities, this is an important step for Methuen as we move to reduce our energy costs,” Mayor Steve Zanni said in a statement. Together with the school department, the city expects to save $575 per year once it reaches its solar goal.
Of course, installing solar panels isn’t the city’s only approach to reducing its utilty bills. Methuen is also implementing various other energy-saving measures, such as: single-stream recycling, virtualization of the city’s servers and renovating a high school to make it more energy efficient.
The city also financed $3.5 million in efficiency upgrades to its facilities.
“I have worked hard as Mayor to improve efficiencies and find savings wherever possible in an effort to make sure every City dollar is spent responsibly, and that is exactly what is achieved with the completion of this project,” Zanni said.