The Candlewood Solar project was developed in response to the Tri-State Clean Energy RFP issued by the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island in October 2015. The RFP was a cooperative effort of all three states and the investor-owned utilities within them to procure clean energy for input into the NE-ISO grid, thereby decreasing dependence on non-renewable sources of electric power within the region.
In October of 2016, Ameresco was one of six bidders selected by the RFP selection committee to move ahead with negotiation of a 20-year power purchase agreement (“PPA”). PPA negotiations have completed and the PPA has been executed between Ameresco and the participating utilities – Eversource Energy, National Grid, and Unitil. Community outreach, coordination with local government officials and departments, and associated development activities including interconnection studies have proceeded in parallel with PPA negotiations.
The Candlewood Solar project will be located on a remote section of Candlewood Mountain on a combination of open field and wooded areas, less than one mile from the Rocky River substation, which is a PTF node on the NE-ISO grid system. The facility will interconnect at the Rocky River substation on Route 7 in New Milford.
Candlewood Solar will provide up to 20 MW of AC power directly to the grid via the Rocky River interconnection. All the power generated by Candlewood Solar will be available to, and sold in, Connecticut.
JOBS: System installation creates more than 100 jobs, local labor hired for civil, site and electrical work
TAX REVENUE: PILOT agreement will result in $2.7 million in tax revenue for New Milford, a 500% increase for the parcel. The system does not require town services.
EDUCATION: Ameresco will work with the Town and New Milford schools to offer grade-specific solar PV educational modules for classroom use. Ameresco will also provide a kiosk with an LED screen showing real-time system production, installed either at Town Hall or the high school.
ENVIRONMENT: Annual energy generation of 34,000 MWh
Enough to power 2,400 homes each year
Carbon dioxide emissions reduction equal to the consumption of more than 2,500,000 gallons of gasoline or the intake of nearly 22,000 acres of forest in one year*
*Source: EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator
In developing a 3MW solar farm situated on top of two parking garages, Ameresco worked with airport officials and the FAA to ensure that glare would never be an issue for pilots.
City of Lowell
Ameresco has developed a ballast system with zero ground disturbance, allowing for solar farm installation in environmentally sensitive areas and brownfield sites, such as Lowell’s 1.5 MW facility installed on a capped landfill.
Town of Braintree
Taking action to slow climate change, the Town of Braintree turned sensitive brownfield areas into a source of energy that eliminates nearly 1,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.