On June 23rd 2014, Scituate Solar I project developer Brightfields Development LLC and its partners, financiers Morgan Stanley, Main Street Power, Syncarpha Capital and EPC contractor Geherlicer Solar, were recognized at the 2014 PV America East Expo in Boston, MA as the 3.0 MW Brightfields Scituate Solar I landfill solar array received the prestigious “Photovoltaic Project of Distinction Award from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). The Scituate Solar I landfill solar project was one of only four to receive a “Photovoltaic Project of Distinction” award. The award recognizes the highest achievement for a solar PV project of any scale. The Scituate Solar I municipal landfill solar array was selected from a group of 21 finalists by judges from the SEIA and SEPA. The project is responsible for providing over 50% of Scituate’s electricity needs each year, and in conjunction with a 1.5 MW wind turbine, helped Scituate become the first municipality in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be 100% powered by renewable energy.
“Scituate Solar I” is a three-megawatt (3 MW) ballasted solar project constructed on a capped municipal landfill in Scituate, Massachusetts. Brightfields won a competitive bid process in 2011 and was selected by the Town of Scituate to bring the project to fruition. Brightfields secured all the necessary permits and entitlements, oversaw the environmental and solar project technical design engineering processes, and sourced and secured financing partners. Throughout the project, Brightfields worked closely with a variety of stakeholders including the Town of Scituate, Main Street Power Company, Inc., MS Solar Solutions Corp., Gehrlicher Solar America Corp., and Syncarpha Capital to ensure that all participants interests were maximized from the Scituate Solar I project.
In addition to developing the Scituate landfill solar project, Brightfields worked with AlsoEnergy to implement an online monitoring system that allows Scituate residents and K-12 schools to view Scituate Solar I and its energy production and carbon offsets in real time. Brightfields also developed educational curricula to teach local elementary, middle, and high school students about the various societal benefits of solar energy and conducted site tours and public presentations.
The energy produced by Scituate Solar I combined with the electrical output from the nearby 1.5 MW Scituate Wind Turbine makes Scituate the first town in Massachusetts to use 100% renewable energy to power all of the Town’s municipal facilities. “We are very proud to be part of a project that helped Scituate become the first town in Massachusetts to self-sufficiently supply all of its municipal energy needs from renewable sources” stated Pete Pedersen, Managing Principal of Brightfields. “The Town of Scituate deserves a lot of credit for recognizing an opportunity to repurpose dormant land as an economic asset that could lower electricity costs, while reducing the town’s carbon footprint.”
Mr. Pedersen hopes that the success of the Scituate landfill solar project will inspire future renewable energy developments on environmentally impaired land. “Scituate Solar I was developed during a time of significant market uncertainty” claims Mr. Pedersen. “As the economic and societal benefits of renewable energy projects on brownfields become increasingly apparent, hopefully, we will see greater market stability and more idle land transformed into sources of cheap, environmentally friendly, domestic energy.”