HOLYOKE, Mass. – October 13, 2016 – Mt. Tom Solar, LLC, a subsidiary of ENGIE North America, broke ground October 13 on a 5.76 megawatt solar farm on the property of the former coal-fired Mt. Tom Power Station in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Beginning in January 2017, Mt. Tom Solar, LLC will sell renewable energy from the facility to Holyoke Gas & Electric pursuant to a Power Purchase Agreement, which will benefit Holyoke residents.
The solar installation will be one of the largest in the state, and include more than 17,000 solar panels on about 22 acres. The solar farm represents the beneficial utilization of the property of the coal-fired Mt. Tom Power Station, which was operated by an affiliate of Mt. Tom Solar, LLC and retired in 2014.
“HG&E is pleased to work with ENGIE on this project which, through the Power Purchase Agreement, expands our portfolio of low-cost renewable energy, and helps us maintain some of the lowest electric rates in the region,” said James M. Lavelle, Manager of Holyoke Gas & Electric (pictured second from right).
“My administration appreciates the efforts of all parties in bringing what will be the largest Community Solar Project in Massachusetts to completion by the end of this year,” said Mayor of Holyoke Alex Morse. “This is an excellent step towards redevelopment of the former Mt. Tom Coal Plant property in a manner consistent with recommendations of the recent site re-use study that was based on significant community input.”
“Massachusetts continues to be a national leader in solar installations as we build a clean energy future that reduces costs to ratepayers,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to promoting public-private partnerships, like the ones that made the Mt. Tom solar project a reality, that maximize the benefits to all stakeholders.”
“For ENGIE, this project brings the concept of ‘Reduce, Recycle, Reuse’ to life,” said ENGIE North America President and CEO Frank Demaille. “It’s a unique opportunity to transform this property from a coal plant to a solar farm to serve the local community, and we’re grateful to Holyoke Gas & Electric, the citizens and City of Holyoke, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for their support as we create a new era for this property.”
ENGIE, which is the new name for GDF SUEZ around the world, manages a range of energy businesses in the United States and Canada, including electricity generation and cogeneration, natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) distribution and sales, retail energy sales, and energy services to help customers run their facilities more efficiently and optimize energy use and expense. More than 90 percent of the company’s power generation portfolio produces no carbon emissions or very few. Globally, the company is present in 70 countries and employs 154,950 people.
About Holyoke Gas & Electric
Holyoke Gas & Electric (HG&E) is a municipally-owned utility that was formed in 1902. Today the Department provides electricity, natural gas, and fiber optic telecommunications services to over 18,000 customers.
Pictured above from left: Former Massachusetts Senator Mike Knapik; Massachusetts Senator Don Humason; Massachusetts Representative Aaron Vega; Mayor of Holyoke Alex Morse; ENGIE North America CEO Frank Demaille; Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson; Manager of Holyoke Gas & Electric James M. Lavelle; and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center General Counsel Steve Pike.
Carol Churchill, 617 886 8759