FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Boston Community Capital Celebrates Completion of Mill Street Solar Project

Thursday, June 26, 2014

One megawatt solar system delivers energy savings to local organizations


CONTACT: Connor Osetek, 646-200-5282

GARDNER, MASS. - Boston Community Capital announced completion of a 3,287-panel, one megawatt ground mounted solar array that will offset energy costs at local organizations at a ribbon cutting held today in Gardner. Developed in conjunction with the City of Gardner and the Gardner Redevelopment Authority, the Mill Street solar project is the first project completed as part of the Mill Street Urban Renewal Plan and is located on a remediated brownfield site owned by the Gardner Redevelopment Authority (GRA).  The solar project utilizes Massachusetts’ pioneering net metering program to offset as much as 80% of the electricity use at a local nonprofit organization, two affordable housing developments and a local business, saving them 17% at today’s electricity prices and fixing their electricity costs for the next 10 years.

“The Mill Street solar project is an example of how an investment in solar is an investment in the community,” said DeWitt Jones, President of BCC Solar Energy Advantage.  “This project not only generates revenue for the city through the reuse of a former brownfield site, it also delivers energy savings to local groups and a business serving the Gardner community and its residents.”

The project is yet another example of Gardner’s commitment to renewable energy.  The city already has a 2.5 MW solar project and several wind turbines, which together offset the electricity use in all municipal buildings and facilities.  “Gardner has worked hard to find savings wherever possible to ensure that every City dollar is spent responsibly, and going solar has assisted the City in achieving this goal,” said Mark Hawke, mayor of the City of Gardner. “The existing wind projects located in the City, and our new solar installations are providing new revenue to the City, allowing us to significantly reduce our operating costs and uphold our commitment to implementing sustainable, environmentally friendly operations. 

“This has been a perfect example of how the public and private sectors can partner to achieve the goals of our community.  The GRA along with the Mayor’s Office worked in concert with Boston Community Capital to ensure the community reaps the benefits of this project,” added Ronald Cormier, Chairman of the GRA.

The organizations that will benefit from the project are GAAMHA, Inc., an organization that provides support for individuals with disabilities and substance use disorders; Haywood Wakefield Commons, an assisted living facility; Olde English Village, an affordable housing development owned and operated by Winn Companies; and Aubuchon Hardware, Inc., a family-owned hardware chain in business since 1908.

“GAAMHA is proud to be part of Boston Community Capital’s solar project, as we always seek ways to reduce our expenses and still provide quality services.” said GAAMHA’s CEO Tracy Hutchinson. “ We don’t find this just a cost benefit to GAAMHA, but a benefit to the community of Gardner and the environment.  At GAAMHA we strive to make socially conscious decisions that benefit the individuals and communities we serve.”

The Mill Street solar project is one of eight solar projects recently completed by Boston Community Capital.  The others are rooftop installations that serve affordable housing developments in Boston and Cambridge, the Greater Boston Food Bank, and the Boys & Girls Club of New Bedford. Boston Community Capital plans to complete another round of solar projects in 2015.

To date, Boston Community Capital has developed and owns more than 17,600 photovoltaic panels for the benefit of low-income communities and their residents.  Two thirds of Boston Community Capital’s solar projects serve affordable, multifamily housing developments and typically meet 100% of their common area electricity needs.  The remainder serves non-profit organizations and municipal facilities.  Boston Community Capital’s panels will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3,082 tons every year, the equivalent of meeting the electricity needs for over 600 homes or cutting car travel by 6.7 million miles.

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