Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray was in Northampton Thursday. Murray along with other state officials broke ground on the first solar array to be built on state highway property. New England Public Radio’s Adam Frenier reports.
The solar array will be located behind the Department of Transportation’s facility, which is next to Southbound Exit 21 of Interstate 91. When completed, it is expected to produce about 30-percent of the electricity needed to power the complex. The array is being built without cost to the state. The Commonwealth will instead purchase the electricity from the contractor for the project. With traffic from the nearby highway passing by, Murray says he expects other state agencies to use state-owned land for more green energy initiatives.
“Whether it be rooftops, whether it be right-of-ways like this, we really want to make sure all of our agencies are doing an inventory to seek out clean energy and green energy opportunities. And Mass DOT under Secretary Davies’ leadership has been a leader in that regard. This is a tangible example too, that will show the public that passes by on a regular basis that this is the new normal”
Clean energy generation and energy conservation has been a point of emphasis for the Patrick/Murray Administration. Governor Patrick has set a goal for 2017 to have 250 megawatts of solar generation in the state: enough electricity to power about 40,000 homes. State officials say they are about halfway to the goal. For New England Public Radio, I’m Adam Frenier.