Massachusetts to build 3.9 MW solar farm on former landfill site

Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECO) has commenced construction on a new solar plant in the U.S. city of Springfield, Massachusetts, on the site of a former landfill facility.

The area was previously used to bury garbage from the surrounding neighborhood but had lain dormant and unused since the 1970s, when the landfill reached its capacity. The area has since been covered and ventilated, and is now set to host a solar energy plant, due to come online in April next year.

"You’re displacing a dirtier, much more environmentally unfriendly fuel source and replacing it wth energy efficiencies and renewable energy," said Massachusetts’ secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Rick Sullivan.

The 3.9 MW PV plant will comprise almost 13,000 solar panels once complete, generating enough renewable energy to power 600 local homes annually. This installation will bring WMECO’s total solar PV capacity to 8 MW.

"As the industry matures and more research and development is done," said WMECO president Craig Hallstrom, "the equipment becomes cheaper and construction of the panels becomes cheaper so the output is better. It is the natural evolution of the industry."

The Mayor of Springfield, Domenic Sarno, welcomed the installation, remarking that it signalled the city’s growing appetite for, and acceptance of, renewable energy, and called for more installations of this type.