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Boston-based developer gets nod from Sunderland solar team

Public hearing set for tonight

SUNDERLAND — The town’s solar farm evaluation team has recommended a 76-year-old Boston-based developer to create a solar array at either the Sunderland Elementary School or the public safety complex.

At Monday’s board meeting, David Pierce, selectman and evaluation team member, announced Broadway Electrical Co. as the finalist.

The board has not made a final decision yet. The public will have a chance to weigh in at a public hearing at tonight’s selectmen’s meeting.

Broadway Electrical Co. is a full-service electrical contractor. It has proposed two options for the town to consider.

At the Sunderland Elementary School on Swampfield Drive, the developer proposes a ground-mounted array that would produce 450,361 kilowatt hours on an annual rate. At the public safety complex, Broadway Electrical proposes an array that would produce 507,679 kilowatt hours.

The Boston company is in the process of installing or has installed at least 66 megawatts of solar energy in the state. Past projects include a 396-kilowatt-hour project for Leicester public buildings and a large 49,371-kilowatt-hour facility for Cape and Vineyard Electric in the eastern part of the state.

The evaluation team made its recommendation based on the solar developer’s non-price proposal, which includes the location, proposed space, the estimated generation and project benefits.

“The bottom line was one of the proposals provided better economic incentive to the town,” said Town Administrator Margaret Nartowicz.

Broadway Electrical beat two other developers: The Real Thing of Nashua, N.H., and Fischbach & Moore Electric Group of Boston.

The town opened the bidding process in June when it announced plans to develop its first solar farm on municipal property. Interested developers had five sites to choose from, which includes the two acres behind the Sunderland Elementary School, eight acres by the public safety complex on River Road, 14 acres at Bull Hill Road, 6.88 acres at the capped landfill on Reservoir Road, and behind the town office building and public library on School Street.

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