In the Merrimack Valley: Solar Farm Proposed Off-Route 93

The Eagle-Tribune is reporting this morning that a proposal is on the table to build what would be New England’s largest solar energy farms in an area off Interstate 93. The proposal looks to install 18,000 solar panels across approximately 17.7 acres off South Street in Andover, according to Kale Inoue, chief financial officer of Talmage Solar Engineering, Inc., a Maine-based company hired by SunGen of Newton to handle the project. The land parcels for consideration are part of the greater area targeted for development in conjunction with the Lowell Junction/Route 93 project. A hearing has been scheduled for June 2 before the Andover Zoning Board of Appeals. Neighbors and stakeholders in other projects will want to follow these proceedings. We will too. Stay tuned.

From the Eagle Tribune:

The vacant 47-acre site in Andover is between Interstate 93, the Shawsheen River and a National Grid electrical transmission corridor on the Tewksbury border, according to the application filed with the Zoning Board of Appeals. The ZBA has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed solar photovaltaic facility at 7 p.m. on June 2 at the Memorial Hall Library.

Read the full article here:

2 Responses to In the Merrimack Valley: Solar Farm Proposed Off-Route 93

  1. Corey says:

    Let this serve as a reminder with just how poor of a source of energy solar is. On sunny days, we are going to be using nearly 18 acres of land to produce 4 MW. L’Energia on Tanner Street produces 20 times the power on an area one 20th the size. I have no idea how the costs line up. Sure, solar is improving, but it has a long, long way to go.

    We are not going to get off of our fossil fuel dependencies with any renewables on the market today.

  2. Corey says:

    If they’re saying this thing is going to power 800 homes, they are assuming a low efficiency on this thing and it’s nowhere near averaging 4 MW.

    Check Cape Wind’s math for example:

    They estimate Cape Wind will average 182 MW at any given time, or 1600 Gigawatt Hours in a year (which is 1,600,000 Megawatt hours). If you check their math, they got this number by multiplying 182 * 8765, the number of hours in a year. They then say that the average New England home consumes 7,150 Kilowatt Hours a year. Which, by the way, is below the national average because we use comparatively little AC in exchange for ungodly amounts of very dirty fuel oil.

    Dividing 1,600,000 MWh by 7.1 MWh for each home confirms their numbers of powering about 1/4 million homes. Working backwards, it takes only 2/3 of a Megawatt to power 800 homes. Again, the small natural gas plant on Tanner St, if it ran day and night (which it does not) produces 85 MW. Boott Hydro averages about 24 MW. Seabrook is 1.2 GIGA-watts