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New solar generation facility will expand region’s renewable portfolio
December 12, 2016
Hampton, NH

Unitil, (www.unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, has received approval from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to build and operate a 1.0 MW solar array on Unitil-owned land at Sawyer Passway in the City of Fitchburg.

The solar array will be located on a  remediated ‘brownfields’ site that has a long history dating back to the 1850’s of various forms of gas and electric energy production and delivery systems.  Most recently the site was the location of a fossil fuel burning power plant, but the plant was shuttered as part of the Electric Industry Restructuring Act of the late-1990s. In addition to the new solar array, an electric distribution sub-station and gas regulator station owned by Unitil continue to be operated at the site.

The 2008 Green Communities Act allows utilities to build and operate solar generation facilities in order to help meet the state’s goals for a more diverse energy portfolio. Unitil has decided to pursue this option as a means to find a productive use and at the same time improve the tax base for this property located in the heart of downtown Fitchburg.

“There is a lovely bit of symmetry with this project,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “Within a single generation, folks in the city will see a site that used to be home to fossil fuel based energy production facilities transform into a modern and clean renewable energy facility that generates power from the sun, thanks in large part to the opportunities offered by state legislation. We’ve swapped smokestacks for solar panels.”         

The array will be called “Solarway” as a nod to the name of the street and previous generation facility at the location, Sawyer Passway. The facility is expected to come online by the end of 2017. 

 

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About Unitil Corporation

Unitil Corporation provides energy for life by safely and reliably delivering natural gas and electricity in New England. We are committed to the communities we serve and to developing people, business practices, and technologies that lead to the delivery of dependable, more efficient energy. Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company with operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Together, Unitil’s operating utilities serve approximately 104,300 electric customers and 79,900 natural gas customers. Other subsidiaries include Usource, Unitil’s non-regulated business segment. For more information about our people, technologies, and community involvement please visit www.unitil.com.

 


For more information please contact:
Alec O'Meara

Media Relations Manager
OMeara@unitil.com
Phone: 603-773-6404

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