Solar Site Feasibility Study

Solar Site Feasibility Study

Location: Massachusetts

Client: Western Massachusetts Electric Co., a subsidiary of Northeast Utilities Services Co.

Completion Date: 2010

Western Massachusetts Electric Co. (WMECO), a subsidiary of Northeast Utilities Services Co. (NUSCO), retained Burns & McDonnell to provide an assessment of multiple sites, selected by NUSCO, regarding their feasibility for the location of solar electric power plants.

The assessment of the sites included solar, civil engineering and environmental characteristics. Solar assessment of sites identified by NUSCO included an assessment of solar photovoltaic technologies appropriate for the sites and the development of conceptual site layouts of the solar field. Civil engineering and environmental assessments of sites identified by NUSCO included topographical and groundwater studies, subsurface evaluations, and cultural and biological studies.

  • Solar access assessments
  • Conceptual solar site layouts
  • Environmental assessments
  • Civil engineering assessments

In August 2009, the WMECO became the first utility in New England to receive approval from the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to build solar energy facilities in the region. The DPU’s decision authorized WMECO to build up to 6 megawatts of solar facilities through 2012. NUSCO and WEMECO identified a number of potential sites for the location of the solar facilities and began the formal process of evaluating the sites for development.