In January 2013, Citizens Energy commissioned an 800 kilowatt (kW), or a .8 megawatts (MW), solar facility on County Road in the West Holyoke section of the city. Combined with the Meadow Street (1 MW) and Mueller Road (3.5 MW) solar installations, this project has increased Holyoke’s solar output to approximately 5.3 MW, enough to power about 1200 homes in Holyoke.
“This project will help the City of Holyoke continue to provide below market electric rates to its customers,” said Jim Lavelle, HG&E’s Manager.
HG&E, through a 20-year power purchase agreement, signed a contract with Citizens Energy Corporation to purchase the electricity generated by the County Road Solar Project, which includes 3,198 ground-mounted panels.
Through solar generation, HG&E is not only lowering the cost of energy for ratepayers, but also reducing the overall carbon footprint of Holyoke. Due to the state and federal incentives available for solar projects, HG&E is able to obtain below-market rates for the energy produced from these facilities. In addition, approximately 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide is kept from being released into the air each year because of fossil generation displaced from this facility.