Kearsarge Solar LLC, a renewable energy company with offices in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, is completing the implementation of a 2,807 kilowatt solar array system on Dexter Road. The array will produce energy enough for 350 homes and will remove 137.5 million pounds of CO2 from the local environment. Carbon sequestering will be equivalent to 3,232 acres of forest per year (based on EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator). The panels are comprised of mostly steel and glass that are readily recyclable without any hazardous substances.
The power generated by the system will be conveyed to National Grid’s distribution system on site. The site was formerly utilized as a petroleum product storage facility which was taken out of service and demolished in the 1980s. Kearsarge Solar has obtained a Brownfield Solar Project Grant from Rhode Island Commerce Corporation to assist in the cost associated with remediating the site, as deployment of solar is seen as one of the highest and best uses for the site. And because of this remediation, once the solar field is decommissioned, the site will be clean and developable for another use.
In addition to the environmental benefits, a net positive fiscal impact is anticipated to the City with the collection of tangibles tax at $5/kilowatt totaling a net increase in revenue of $14,000 per year and $280,000 in new property taxes over the 25 year life of the project. The building of the solar array generated 40 professional construction jobs and over $2 million in new wages.
The project application went from submission in January 2020, to Waterfront Commission approval in February to construction starting in August and now expected completion by the end of 2020.