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MassDOT to Begin Construction of Three New Park and Ride Solar Projects 

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), in conjunction with the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), is announcing construction operations will begin soon for three new solar carport projects at Park and Ride locations in Harwich, New Bedford and Plymouth. The carport installations are being partially funded through grants provided by the DOER Leading by Example Program, and will provide a source of clean energy and sheltered and illuminated parking facilities for customers. The projects are part of MassDOT's solar initiatives that seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), promote renewable energy generation, use under-utilized state-owned land, and save energy.

"We appreciate the partnership with the Department of Energy Resources and the funding for key solar projects provided by the Leading by Example Program," said Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler.  "The Park and Ride carport solar installations and solar projects along our roadways and on a noise barrier demonstrate the Commonwealth's commitment to taking steps to reduce greenhouse gases and encouraging all property owners to think creatively about how solar power can be a viable option as we all work together to improve the environment."

The Park and Ride solar carport projects when combined with other recent MassDOT solar projects, including the installation of solar panels on a section of a noise barrier along Interstate 95/Route 128 in Lexington and the inclusion of solar arrays at MassDOT's District 3 Administration Building in Worcester, will provide up to three megawatts of power which represents an anticipated energy savings of approximately $7 million over a 20-year-period. The DOER Leading by Example grant program awarded the noise barrier and three Park and Ride projects with a total funding amount of $710,000. MassDOT expects all of these projects to be fully operational in about a year and a half.  

"Earlier this year, MassDOT announced a proposed solar panel installation on a section of highway barrier in Lexington and we look forward to the day in the near future when that project will begin to generate electricity," said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver.  "We are pleased to be working with the Department of Energy Resources to continue to create additional opportunities for solar panel installations."

"The Baker-Polito Administration continues to advance innovative clean energy projects that support greenhouse gas emissions reductions through both renewable energy generation and by encouraging carpooling opportunities," said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Patrick Woodcock. "Solar carports efficiently make use of public space to expand clean energy and provide a quality customer experience to facilitate carpooling, and the DOER appreciates the partnership with MassDOT to collaborate on our collective efforts to decarbonize the transportation sector."

MassDOT currently has eight solar energy projects that were installed under the former SREC-II Incentive Program between 2015 and 2018. The projects are located in Framingham, Hopkinton, Natick, Plymouth, Salisbury and West Stockbridge, and together produce a total of 4.3 megawatts of renewable energy. The projects have been implemented through Power Purchase and Lease agreements with the site developers and, to date, have saved approximately $4 million.  On an annual basis, it is anticipated that these sites will produce 5,000 megawatt hours of clean energy, which equates to 3,000 metric tons of CO2 reduction.

The Commonwealth also continues efforts to install Electric Vehicle (EV) fast-charging stations at various service plazas located along the Interstate 90, as well as Level-II chargers at several Park and Ride properties including New Bedford, Harwich and Plymouth.

Highlights of MassDOT's EV charging station installation efforts are as follows:

  • MassDOT, through its partnership with DOER, facilitated the development of six public Direct Current Fast Charge (DCFC) stations. These chargers were installed at service plazas located on Interstate 90 eastbound and westbound in Lee (2), Charlton (2), Natick and Framingham and became operational in 2017. To date, there have been over 14,000 charging sessions, dispensing 215,000 kilowatts, which is equivalent to the reduction of 645,000 miles made by gasoline fueled vehicles.
  • MassDOT has also installed DCFC stations at three sites: the Greenfield RMV/Information Center and the two Bridgewater Service Plazas on Route 24.  These DCFC charging stations which were installed over the last nine months have already dispensed approximately 19,600 kilowatts through 1,350 charging sessions which is a GHG savings of 14,000 kilograms.
  • Thirteen dual-port Level-II stations have been installed at five Park and Rides located in Whately, Greenfield, New Bedford, Bourne, and Harwich.
  • Four Level-II chargers are available to the public at MassDOT's District 3 Administration Building in Worcester.
  • Eight 62.5 kilowatt stations will be installed at the Plymouth, Barnstable, Lexington and Newton Service Plazas and ten dual-port, Level-II stations, at the Plymouth and Barnstable Park and Rides. All stations have been purchased and installed by MassDOT's selected vendor, Voltrek, and in partnership with the Eversource and National Grid Make-Ready Programs under a contract funded using state and federal funding. All chargers are expected to be installed and operational by mid-September 2022.

In addition, under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), Massachusetts expects to receive about $63 million over five years to support the expansion of Massachusetts' EV charging network. Massachusetts will also have the opportunity to apply for grants out of the $2.5 billion available for EV charging.  Information on the BIL can be found online at: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Will Deliver for Massachusetts (transportation.gov).

To learn more about current solar projects, visit: MassDOT Renewable Energy Projects | Mass.gov.

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