Worcester, MA IBEW Local 96 signatory contractor Mass. Electric Construction Co. completed electrical installations for the 8.1MW solar farm atop the city’s capped 25-acre former landfill. The project, among Massachusetts largest municipality-owned solar arrays, is comprised of 28,600 solar panels mounted on 1,430 solar racks. Mass. Electric’s crew of sixty-five Local 96 journeymen electricians provided installations in the fast-track seven month project. Project manager Mike Sanders and project superintendent Mark Delisle headed the project team. Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. was the project’s solar developer.
As reported in the Worcester Telegram, John Odell, the city’s director of energy and asset management, estimates the project will generate 10 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually. The electricity, fed from the Worcester solar farm to National Grid, will offset approximately $2 million in annual electricity costs for the city, equivalent to about 20% of the city’s municipal electricity budget.
The total project cost of $27 million has an expected payback of only about six years, in part due to the higher value of the Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) that were utilized in the project’s planning and financing stages.
The project is undergoing final testing and a ribbon-cutting will be scheduled when the facility goes online.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Local Union 96, based in Worcester, has more than 350 member electricians and technicians and more than 100 signatory electrical and telecommunications contractors. Local 96 co-sponsors the five-year JATC Electrical Training program in Worcester with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Central Massachusetts Chapter. The organization is headed by business manager Thomas Maloney.