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The original item was published from 3/9/2011 9:25:00 AM to 3/31/2011 9:50:37 AM.

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Posted on: March 8, 2011

[ARCHIVED] Town Plans Solar Energy Project at Old Landfill


Contact for Questions:
John Musante, Town Manager
413-259-3002 or
John DeVillars, BlueWave Capital
617-470-7297 or

Today Amherst Town Manager John Musante announced that he is issuing a Letter of Intent to begin negotiations with BlueWave Capital, LLC of Boston, MA to develop a solar electric generating facility with a total of at least 4.75 megawatts (MW) within the old landfill across the street from the Transfer Station at Belchertown Road in Amherst. The announcement follows a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process that resulted in six proposals submitted to the Town from solar project developers from across the country.

BlueWave’s proposal has the potential to create substantial environmental and economic benefits to the Town of Amherst by:

-Providing the Town municipal and school operations with virtually all of its total electricity consumption from a clean, renewable solar photovoltaic system;

-Reducing Amherst’s carbon emissions by over 6,000 tons per year or the equivalent of permanently removing more than 1,200 cars from the road;

-Providing estimated electricity cost savings of over $25 million over the next thirty years and eliminating the risk associated with volatile and unpredictable future energy prices; and

-Generating property tax payments in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year over the life of the system.

“Today, the Town of Amherst takes a giant leap forward in our quest to become a regional and national leader in renewable energy. I am delighted to partner with a BlueWave team that has a proven track record and deep expertise in renewable energy development, brownfields/landfill development, environmental permitting, regulatory strategy, and project financing,” Musante said.

“Blue Wave is honored to be selected as the Town’s solar energy developer. We have built a best-in-class team that very much looks forward to partnering with the Town to establish a national model for community-wide solar development and use,” John DeVillars, BlueWave Capital’s Managing Partner said.

In addition to locating solar facilities on municipal properties later this year the Town and BlueWave will join forces to launch a community-wide initiative that will make solar energy more accessible and affordable for Amherst businesses, institutions, and homeowners.
“I can’t think of a better place in the country to engage the entire community – businesses, colleges, property owners and residents - in a cost-saving, carbon reducing initiative than Amherst. We are psyched to partner with a Town that shares this vision and is committed to making it a reality,” DeVillars said.

An important aspect of BlueWave’s proposal is a commitment to work with the Town, the Amherst Public Schools and teachers to create environmental learning opportunities for students at all grade levels through real-time monitoring equipment in the schools, curriculum development, and vocational training and apprenticeship opportunities.

BlueWave Capital, LLC is a Boston-based solar development company. BlueWave has been selected by several Massachusetts communities to develop more than 25MW of solar generating facilities on municipal properties, including the Cities of New Bedford, North Adams and Taunton, and the Town of Athol. The company was founded in 2005 by John DeVillars, former Massachusetts Secretary of the Environment and New England Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and has extensive experience in both renewable energy and the development of brownfields and other environmentally complex properties.

Financing for the project will be provided by Smart Energy Capital through its solar financing partnership with Duke Energy Systems and Integrys Energy Services, two of the nation’s largest utilities.

The BlueWave team also includes Alteris Renwables, New England’s largest solar installer; TRC Companies, Inc. a national environmental and energy engineering and consulting firm based in Lowell, MA that will lead the project’s electrical engineering efforts; Bosch Solar Energy Services, a manufacturer of high quality solar cells and modules; and Tighe and Bond, Inc. a Westfield, MA-based engineering and consulting company with extensive landfill closure and permitting experience.

Next steps include the negotiation of a long-term Power Purchase Agreement between the Town and BlueWave and Smart Energy Capital, the creation of an Interconnection Agreement with Western Massachusetts Electric Company, and state and local environmental permitting.

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