State’s largest solar field opens in Ludlow

Power will be used by municipal light plants


A RENEWABLE ENERGY project in Ludlow will soon start generating enough power for more than 1,500 homes, boosters said as they cut the ribbon Monday on the “largest single solar field and the largest municipally-owned solar project” in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company said the project will generate more than 13,800 megawatt hours (MWh) per year and will displace almost 13.22 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions from Massachusetts power plants annually. The municipal light plants in Boylston, Ipswich, Mansfield, Marblehead, Peabody and Wakefield will buy the cleaner power.

Meet the Author
“Consistent with the Commonwealth’s decarbonization roadmap, the solar project allows the participating municipal light departments to increase the non-carbon generation mix in their power portfolios, while helping them to maintain stable rates for their customers,” MMWEC CEO Ronald DeCurzio said.

MMWEC said the project uses “bifacial module technology” that allows its solar panels to generate energy from both direct sunlight and light that gets reflected onto the backside of the panel. “This allows for better year-round production, including during the winter, when snow cover on the ground reflects light onto the back of the panel,” said the organization, a nonprofit corporation and political subdivision of the state created in 1975 by the Legislature.

The project is developed by EDF Renewables and is located on 35 acres of MMWEC’s Ludlow campus, next to Westover Air Base. Its official name — The MMWEC/Master Sergeant Alexander Cotton Memorial Solar Project — is meant to honor the late Master Sgt. Alexander Cotton of the 439th Airlift Wing “in appreciation of his dedication and service, and in recognition of the long history between MMWEC and Westover,” MMWEC said.