December 15, 2014 – National Grid has taken the next step toward bringing customers more of the clean, renewable energy they want: The company plans to build, own and operate an additional 16 megawatts (MW) of new solar generation in Massachusetts. The project will become the second phase of National Grid’s solar program, under which the company already operates more than five MW of utility-owned solar generation at five sites throughout the state.
“Solar generation is an increasingly important piece of the energy picture for Massachusetts and the entire country,” said Edward White, vice president of Customer Strategy and Environmental, National Grid. “National Grid is proud to join the Commonwealth in taking a leadership role to develop this vital clean energy source. As our network and our customers' expectations evolve, we anticipate more opportunities for our company to strategically invest in new energy sources and technologies on behalf of our customers.”
Unlike traditional solar installations, which attempt strictly to maximize energy production, National Grid’s 16 MW of planned solar generation will be installed in 19 strategic locations to ensure the greatest positive impact on the electricity delivery system at the appropriate cost to customers. The company will work with Borrego Solar, SolarCity and PowerSecure to build photovoltaic arrays in Abington, Attleboro, Ayer, Brockton, Charlton, Dighton, Fall River, Grafton, Leicester, Millbury, Shirley and Sturbridge. Construction is scheduled to be completed by June 2015. Installing solar generation in or near areas of high electricity demand will enable the company to experiment with new tools and unlock technical challenges, then share its findings to move the entire energy community closer to the Commonwealth’s clean energy goals.
Under the Green Communities Act, electric utilities are allowed to construct, own and operate up to 50 MW of solar generation. In 2009 National Grid received approval from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to build, own and operate five MW of solar generation on its properties. The company’s solar installations in Dorchester, Everett, Haverhill, Revere and Sutton/Northbridge currently generate a total average output of 15 megawatt-hours each day.
National Grid’s approach to planning and operating energy infrastructure in the Northeast, which the company calls Connect21, aligns with Governor Deval Patrick’s ambitious goal to install 1,600 MW of solar generation in Massachusetts by 2020. In addition to its own installations, the company has connected more than 200 MW of third party-owned solar generation in the Commonwealth. National Grid empowers customers and communities by linking customer needs and public policy goals with technology and market solutions, thus driving energy productivity, a cleaner energy environment and more robust local economies. The company will continue to play a pivotal role in enabling new technologies to be implemented more quickly, serving as a community catalyst for solar generation, electric vehicles and more.
About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.
In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.
National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
For more information please visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com