Clearway’s solar and storage projects move Massachusetts closer to renewable energy goals

June 9, 2020

Two community solar projects in Massachusetts include combined 8.6 MWh of energy storage

SAN FRANCISCO – Clearway Energy Group (“Clearway”) today announced the completion of Partridgeville and Wilmarth, two new community solar projects paired with energy storage. The projects reached commercial operations and completed commissioning in May. The projects will boost grid reliability and climate resiliency in the Commonwealth while also contributing to the state’s energy storage target of 1,000 MWh by the end of 2025.

“As storage continues to play a growing role in the renewable energy industry, we are thrilled to bring online Clearway’s first solar plus storage assets in Massachusetts,” said Craig Cornelius, CEO of Clearway Energy Group. “We thank Governor Baker’s administration and the Department of Energy Resources for making solar plus storage a policy priority and the towns of Athol and Plainville for the opportunity to work together to bring these projects to fruition. We’re proud to be a part of the Bay State’s path toward clean, local energy and creating economic opportunity right in the communities where we operate.”

Construction of both the Wilmarth and Partridgeville projects started in mid-2019 and primarily took place in the summer and fall months. Details of the projects can be found below:

Partridgeville: 3.3 MW solar paired with 4.0 MWh energy storage provided by IHI, located in Athol, MA.
Wilmarth: 5 MW solar paired with 4.6 MWh energy storage provided by NEC ES, located in Plainville, MA.

Under Massachusetts’ SMART program, solar paired with storage provides power quality support, allows for rapid ramping to reduce the intermittency of solar, allows for energy generation to be shifted to reduce peak demand, and reduces strain on the distribution system during times of low load and high solar generation. Partridgeville, Wilmarth, and Clearway’s forthcoming community solar and storage projects in Massachusetts were designed and constructed to achieve those requirements.

Community solar is available in more than a dozen states and allows corporate, municipal, and residential utility customers to subscribe to a local solar array, receive credits on their utility bill, and reduce their overall electricity costs. When paired with storage, subscribers get the additional benefit of low-cost power when demand is highest.

In key markets, a substantial portion of Clearway’s solar development pipeline includes energy storage. In 2019, the company was awarded two solar power purchase agreements with Hawaiian Electric to include 300 MWh of storage, and this year received local approval to construct one of the largest solar plus storage projects in California.