Project Description

Mass Tank

Company Overview

Mass Tank is the largest steel tank manufacturer in New England, and combines their ninety-year fabrication experience with their certified inspection staff to deliver solutions for any tank projects.

The Middleborough Gas & Electric Department is a public utility, owned by the town of Middleborough and serving about 5,000 gas customers in Middleborough and over 14,500 electric customers in Middleborough and Lakeville.

Challenge

Mass Tank first thought about renewable energy solutions when they became one of the contracted manufacturers for the Cape Wind project, a large offshore wind farm located in Federal waters off the coast of Cape Cod. Interested in contributing to the clean energy economy and reducing their energy costs, Mass Tank decided to look into owning and installing a solar energy solution on their facility. However, due to regulations sanctioned by the local municipal utility Middleborough Gas & Electric, Mass Tank soon found out that a “behind the meter” solar installation, where the energy is both generated and consumed directly on-site, is prohibited.

Solution

Mass Tank decided to approach Middleborough Gas & Electric to work on a solution that would allow both entities to support and benefit from solar energy. The municipal utility was interested, as such an arrangement would help mitigate peak demand, reducing customer cost while increasing power reliability. With Middleborough Gas & Electric on board, Mass Tank entered into an agreement with Solect and IGS Solar, under which IGS leases roof space from Mass Tank in order to host the array, own the system, and sell the solar electricity generated to Middleborough Gas & Electric through a power purchase agreement (PPA).

Results

This project provides solutions to multiple parties through a unique combination of a solar site lease and a Power Purchase Agreement. The power generated through the site lease at Mass Tank is purchased via an off-site power purchase agreement by Middleborough Gas & Electric to provide clean energy to local residents and businesses, including Mass Tank. Under their long-term lease agreement, Mass Tank will receive annual lease payments for the use of their roof, from investor and array owner, IGS. As a result, Mass Tank gains an additional source of revenue for a twenty-year period and also allows Middleborough businesses and residents to benefit from adding local solar energy to the supply mix without the costs and liabilities associated with owning a system. Middleborough Gas & Electric benefits from a new source of green, reliable electricity to provide their consumers.

Fast Facts

Location: Middleborough, MA

Owner: IGS Solar

System Size: 457 kW

Technical Details: Trina panels with a Solectria inverter.