The Massachusetts SMART Program recently hit another milestone when two more Community Solar energy projects were completed. The Partridgeville and Wilmarth farms are the latest projects to be developed by Clearway Community Solar. What makes these farms even more exciting, however, is that they are also paired with energy storage. Together, these Community Solar projects will add a combined 8.6 MWh of energy storage to the Commonwealth.
Energy storage is a critical component to maintaining a balanced power grid and renewable energy resources have the opportunity to play an important role in developing more accessible energy storage systems.
The electrical grid requires a successful balance of supply and demand in order to remain effective in providing electricity to residents and businesses. Energy storage helps the grid maintain that balance. Solar energy storage provides readily available energy that can be delivered to the grid when demand is high, while fossil fuels take longer to ramp up.
How Does Energy Storage From Clearway Community Solar Help Massachusetts?
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) created the SMART Program to help build long-term sustainable solar incentive programs designed to promote cost-effective solar energy development in the Commonwealth.
Clearway Community Solar is one of the clean energy companies that is participating in the SMART Program, which is a 3,200 MW declining block incentive program. All projects must be approved and connected to one of three electric utilities in Massachusetts. These include Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil. Each of the utilities has its own established blocks that decline in incentive rates between each block.
Clearway has already established 14 other Community Solar projects throughout the Bay State that have created renewable energy sources and offered homeowners and renters alike more affordable solar photovoltaic energy options beyond rooftop solar. The addition of the latest two projects will boost grid reliability and climate resiliency in the Commonwealth while also helping the state be well on its way to its energy storage target of 1,000 MWh by the end of 2025.
Clean Energy Resources When You Need Them Most
Community Solar is becoming more widely available in Massachusetts and across New England. Its availability in more than a dozen states allows for corporate, municipal, and residential utility customers to subscribe to a local solar array, receive credits on their utility bill, and reduce their overall electricity costs. When paired with storage, subscribers get the added benefit of low-cost power when demand is highest.
This goes beyond helping states meet their energy requirements and creates renewable resources that can be accessed when needed the most.
Craig Cornelius, CEO of Clearway Energy Group says that the company is “thrilled to bring online Clearway’s first solar plus storage assets in Massachusetts.” “We thank Governor Baker’s administration and the Department of Energy Resources for making solar plus storage a policy priority and the towns of Athol and Plainville for the opportunity to work together to bring these projects to fruition. We’re proud to be a part of the Bay State’s path toward clean, local energy and creating economic opportunity right in the communities where we operate.”
If you would like more information on how you can be a part of using renewable energy resources in Massachusetts through a Community Solar farm, please reach out to us today.