The Trappist monks living at St. Joseph’s Abbey are on a mission to be self-sustaining. When presented with the opportunity to be a part of a solar farm that would not only benefit the Abbey but also their community, they jumped on board.


Video courtesy of NBC Boston


About an hour away, further north in Massachusetts, the residents of Pepperell, Massachusetts are delighted to have Clearway’s Nashua Road Solar Project in their community. They can see the solar panels hard at work as they are driving past on Nashua Road.

Solar Farm powered solutions

In exchange for a fixed monthly payment with no money down, subscribers to Clearway Community Solar farms earn credits toward their electricity bill based on their portion of renewable energy net metering credits produced from the solar project.

The new Spencer community solar farm is located on the property of historic St. Joseph’s Abbey. Spanning across 200 acres of countryside, this solar farm is one of several ongoing solar projects in Massachusetts. With more than 61,000 solar photovoltaic panels, this is the largest community solar project in the nation and is already 100% subscribed.

“We welcome the opportunity to be part of this important and sustainable project for renewable energy resources for Massachusetts,” said John Stevens, Chairman of the Spencer Board of Selectmen. “Generating electricity from renewable energy offers significant public benefits, energy price stability, and health dividends.”

The Spencer community solar farm created over 150 jobs during production, providing an additional incentive for communities to consider renewable energy solutions. With a capacity of 20.1 MW dc, this solar farm provides solar energy to more than 1,500 residential and commercial subscribers located in the surrounding community.

Spencer St. community solar farm. Spencer, MA. Spencer St. community solar farm. Spencer, MA.

“This is Clearway’s largest community solar project in the United States,” said Drew Warshaw, Vice President of Community Solar, Clearway. “It represents an opportunity for a diverse mix of residential and commercial customers to support clean energy and receive long-term savings on their electricity bill all without putting solar panels on their roof.”

Clean Energy Gets Results

The Nashua Road Solar Project has a rated capacity of 1.3 MW dc with over 4,000 solar photovoltaic panels. It has the capability to deliver enough clean power to serve the solar energy needs of 170 residential customers in the community and is already 100% subscribed.

The new site, which follows the company’s similarly-sized project in Freetown, Massachusetts, furthers Clearway’s commitment to community solar and provides affordable, clean energy produced at a solar farm in residents’ local utility service territory.

The 170 households that have subscribed to the Massachusetts community solar farm will experience savings between five and 15 percent on their monthly utility bill.

Nashua Rd. community solar farm. Pepperell, MA. Nashua Rd. community solar farm. Pepperell, MA.

Those Pepperell residents are now part of the Clearway Massachusetts community solar portfolio and earn credits toward their energy bill. Energy credits are determined based on how much renewable energy each subscriber’s portion of the project generated per billing cycle.

Solar Power is the Future

“Going solar has never been easier or more affordable,” said Drew Warshaw, Vice President of Community Solar, Clearway . “If your roof faces north instead of south, if you have a tree you don’t want to cut down or if you simply don’t want solar panels on your roof, community solar is a great solution. It gives you long-term savings, price stability to avoid spikes in your utility bill and the chance to support clean energy – all without doing anything to your house,” Warshaw said.

Pepperell’s community solar farm represents a clean energy solution that is available to renters and homeowners alike, providing a blueprint for communities across America who want to take advantage of renewable energy options.

If you could save money on your utility bill and be a part of cleaning up your environment, why wouldn’t you? Renewable energy solutions bring communities together in addition to creating a sustainable future for future generations to come.

Subscribe to stay up to date on all our community solar farm initiatives – coming soon to a town near you!

Resources Anne O’Connor. “Pepperell solar array has lots of folks smiling”.
NBC Boston. “Monks Open Solar Farm in Spencer, Massachusetts”.

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