Resolving Complexities in a Landfill Community Solar Project, part 3: The COVID-19 Challenge
Located on the outskirts of Beverly, Mass., in Essex County, the Beverly Community Solar Project was four and a half years in the making. Early challenges included waiting for an open incentive program that would make the project economically viable. In late 2018, Massachusetts introduced its new solar incentive program, Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target Program or SMART, and the door opened for the Beverly Solar Project. Little could the project stakeholders anticipate the extraordinary circumstances that were to be encountered ahead.
Part 3: The COVID-19 Challenge
One of the biggest and most unique challenges the teams were confronted with on the Beverly Landfill Solar Project was COVID-19. This was a potential force majeure event that was not in the plans. With very little notice, Signal Energy DG needed to mobilize their teams to develop an inventive and extensive plan to meet the needs of the situation. They had to re-think managing a project from an installation standpoint.
First-order was to establish hyper-sanitary conditions with hand washing stations, hand sanitizer, and regular cleaning of work areas. Crews were issued mandatory personal protective equipment. New schedules were created that limited crew members to specific tasks and engagement with team members. Their activity was closely documented and managed to ensure rules were adhered to and employees’ health and safety were foremost.
The construction crew also dealt with delivery issues as the supply chain became disrupted due to the pandemic. The company managed schedules and juggled work activities to accommodate the delays and to date remain on schedule with the project. While Signal Energy DG could have declared force majeure and stopped work, as some solar EPCs had done on other projects, their team and subcontractors persisted through the challenges.
When BlueWave’s Beverly Community Solar Project meets completion, it will deliver significant benefits to the community and be a milestone project in the solar industry.
The distributed generation project will fiscally impact the municipality with income from lease payments, the PILOT tax agreement, and electricity cost savings totaling over the 20 years of the project to the tune of an estimated five million dollars. Ultimately those monies will benefit the residents and businesses of Beverly.
As a landfill project converted to a solar power generation plant, the land has gone from an unused asset to a productive source of clean power. The Beverly Solar Project will generate enough energy to power approximately 500 homes.
The community will effectively reduce their carbon footprint and the project will contribute to a cleaner environment. On an annual basis, the plant will offset 3,720 metric tons of carbon emissions or the equivalent of removing nearly 800 cars off the road.
As a community solar project, the city has created an opportunity for residents and businesses to utilize clean renewable energy. Solar is a lower-cost energy, so the city will reduce their electricity spend, unlocking a portion of their budget for other important initiatives. Through the subscription process for community solar, they have also made lower-cost energy available to the people who live and work in the community.
About the team
Navisun is a solar independent power producer within the United States that codevelops, acquires, constructs, finances, owns, and operates distributed and small utility-scale ground mount and rooftop solar projects. Its principals have completed numerous solar projects for utilities, municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals, and similar institutions, with typical project sizes ranging from 500 kilowatts to 20 megawatts.
Signal Energy is known for our great people and by our customers for providing exceptional value through our creative solutions. We are on a mission to be the preferred engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for our strategic customers by providing innovative solutions, delivering exceptional results, and attracting and developing the best workforce in the industry. We strive to be Elite in every commitment we make. Learn more at http://www.signalenergy.com/
Solar FlexRack, a division of Northern States Metals, is an integrated solar company that offers custom-designed, fixed tilt ground mount and single-axis solar tracking systems in the commercial and utility-scale solar mounting industries. Solar FlexRack also offers full turnkey packages, including engineering, geotechnical, pullout testing, field, layout, and installation services to address the actual site conditions of an installation and provide a full scope of services from design to delivery and installation. Solar FlexRack has completed over 2 GW of solar racking installations in 40 states across America and five countries globally. For more information, go to www.solarflexrack.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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Congrats to BlueWave on the success of this complex project
What an awesome use of “unusable land” and such an excellent article series. Thanks for sharing. Hope to see many more of these type of projects – despite the pandemic!
Great article series! Congrats to BlueWave!
Nice article, and way to go BlueWave and Signal Energy! Certainly an impressive feat on how you overcame the challenges and created yet another successful project. Well done!
Navisun is the new owner of the Beverly Landfill Solar Project.