North Adams Celebrates Completion of 3.5 Megawatt Landfill Solar Projects Installation and Being 100 Percent Solar Powered
Mayor Richard Alcombright was joined by local and state officials, installer and developer Borrego Solar, financier Syncarpha Capital and consultancy Tighe & Bond to “cut the cord” on fossil fuels
The City of North Adams today celebrates the completion of its 3.5 megawatt (MW) solar array built on top of its capped landfill with a “cutting the cord” celebration. The project, which is the largest of its kind in Western Massachusetts, makes the City 100 percent solar powered when combined with power being purchased from two other solar sites built in nearby towns. This means that all of its streetlights, facility buildings, schools and the state-owned skating rink are benefiting from clean renewable energy.
“Solar is working in Massachusetts and this project in North Adams shows that,” said State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield). “I’m thrilled to see the City taking the lead with this project, which will provide economic and environmental benefits for the City and region.”
The landfill solar projects array offsets 2,989 tons of carbon annually, the equivalent of removing 630 cars from the road or the amount sequestered by 2,450 acres of U.S. forests in a year.
“North Adams’ transition to solar is in a way, reminiscent of the City’s manufacturing past, as many of our old mills utilized water as a renewable resource. This solar project illustrates the community’s successful efforts to reestablish a commitment to renewable energy. Additionally, the project speaks to the City we have become: a destination for culture, education, art and technology.” said Mayor Richard Alcombright. “We’re pleased to see that the City’s sustainability efforts have influenced local businesses to adopt solar and the community to embrace more energy conservation and sustainability measures.”
SPME Solar III, LLC, an affiliate of Syncarpha Capital (“Syncarpha”), a rapidly growing developer, owner and operator of solar facilities, provided all of the financing, and will own, operate and manage the facility going forward. Syncarpha Capital has developed and/or financed 25.7 MW of solar in Massachusetts, with an additional 40MW in development in the Commonwealth.
Borrego Solar Systems Inc.—a leading developer, designer, installer and O&M provider of grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) systems—built and developed the array. Borrego Solar has installed approximately 17 percent of the 81 MW of solar installed on landfills throughout the state.
North Adams and Syncarpha utilized a 20-year power purchase agreement whereby the City pays Syncarpha for the electricity generated by the solar facility at a cost significantly below their current utility rates. North Adams is able to mitigate the risk of significant, unexpected future rate increases by contracting a predictably escalating rate through the PPA term.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Town of North Adams to provide an economically beneficial, renewable solution to their energy needs, and we look forward to operating and managing the project on the town’s behalf going forward,” said Cliff Chapman, Managing Partner at Syncarpha Capital. “This project is one example of our ongoing strategy and commitment to helping communities, companies and consumers implement renewable energy solutions designed to realize tangible economic benefits.”
“We owe the successful completion of this project not only to my fellow City leaders, but also to Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, National Grid and Borrego Solar, for helping to keep it moving along after it was stalled,” said Ross Vivori, North Adams Chairman and Principal Assessor. “We learned how important it is to choose an experienced solar integrator, after our initial partner was problematic, and engage in an open dialogue with our utility and incentive-issuing body in order to see our project reach completion.”
To celebrate the completion of the array, North Adams and the project partners—Borrego Solar, Syncarpha Capital and engineering and environmental consulting firm Tighe & Bond—were joined by various business and public leaders who spoke in praise of the City’s solar efforts, DOER Deputy Commissioner Dan Burgess, Senator Benjamin Downing and Representative Gailanne Cariddi.
About The City of North Adams
North Adams is a city in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. It is part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its population was 13,708 as of the 2010 census, making it the least populous city in the state. Best known as the home of the largest contemporary art museum in the United States, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams has in recent years become a center for tourism, culture and recreation.
About Syncarpha Capital
Founded in 2009, Syncarpha Capital is a New York-based private equity firm dedicated to developing, financing, owning and operating distributed- and utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar and other renewable energy systems across North America. Partnering with experienced developers, installers, engineers, and EPC contractors, and working closely with its customers, Syncarpha Capital designs and builds on-site solar systems for municipalities, utilities, and businesses – as well as developing community shared solar solutions for consumers and commercial customers. Syncarpha has completed or is under construction on more than 40 megawatts (MW) of ground-mounted and rooftop solar assets. To learn more about Syncarpha, please visit www.syncarpha.com.
About Borrego Solar
Established in 1980, Borrego Solar Systems Inc. is one of the nation’s leading designers, developers, installers, O&M providers and financiers of commercial and utility solar power systems. Borrego Solar’s photovoltaic systems are efficient, reliable and cost-effective. With more than three decades of experience and more than 1,100 solar power installations completed—totaling over 150 megawatts—Borrego Solar offers a complete line of solar system design and installation services throughout North America. Borrego Solar was the 2nd largest commercial solar installer in the United States in Q1 2015, according to Greentech Media Research. For more information, visit www.borregosolar.com.