FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Coming soon! 4.3 MW Solar Photovoltaic Arrays on City of Beverly Properties
BEVERLY – The City of Beverly is taking great strides toward our community-developed climate goals this summer, with the installation of 4.3 megawatts of new solar energy generation across six City-owned sites. The new solar program builds on the City’s existing solar portfolio, providing renewable energy credits that will offset nearly all municipal electricity consumption. “We looked at all City sites for opportunities to install solar panels and cut greenhouse gas emissions to ensure our children a bright and healthy future,” said Beverly Mayor Michael P. Cahill. "This project meaningfully reduces our carbon footprint, contributes clean energy to the electric grid, and saves the City money on electricity."
In 2019, the City of Beverly assembled a six-site project awarded to Kearsarge Energy, LLC through a competitive procurement process. Kearsarge Energy is the City’s partner to develop, construct, own, and operate the 4.3 MW solar photovoltaic arrays at the following sites:
- Beverly High School – parking canopy and ground-mount
- Beverly Middle School - rooftop and parking canopy
- 10 & 11 Pond Street parking lots - parking canopy
- City Hall - rooftop
- Beverly Council on Aging – rooftop
- Beverly Police Station – rooftop and parking canopy (as part of a separate project)
In 1981, Beverly High School was one of eight sites in the United States that then-President Carter chose for an experimental solar panel installation. Today it is the last operational photovoltaic research site from that era. One row of solar panels from the historic hillside solar array will be kept to demonstrate the advancement of solar technology, presenting opportunities for renewable energy education to Beverly students.
This program enables the City to meet one of our energy goals from the Beverly and Salem Resilient Together climate action plan, for regional clean energy to supply 100% of municipal asset operations by 2030. The City will reach this goal ahead of schedule using renewable energy credits generated from City-owned sites. As the City continues our path toward decarbonization, municipal buildings will continue to be electrified, which will increase our electricity demand and call for additional renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
In 2013, A 2.6 MW solar array was built near the Beverly Regional Airport. In 2021, a 4.9 MW ground mounted community solar project was completed over a capped landfill on Otis Road, providing energy credits to the City of Beverly and 100 Beverly homes. The solar program is one of several municipal decarbonization efforts, including vehicle fleet electrification and the newly constructed geothermal-powered police station, as well as a new communitywide energy efficiency campaign called the Beverly and Salem Energy Challenge.
The program was developed in close partnership with the Department of Public Services and Mayor’s Office, and has received approvals by the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, School Committee, and City Council. In March 2022, the City Council voted unanimously to approve the lease, Payment In Lieu of Taxes agreement, and solar power services agreement. The City of Beverly will receive over $1.1 million in revenue over the 20-year term, as well as electricity cost savings of approximately $937,000.
The lease term is twenty years with a five-year renewal term by mutual agreement. The project will avoid carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to over 390,000 gallons of gasoline annually. Construction at the 10 & 11 Pond Street parking lots, Beverly Middle School, and Beverly High School will begin in late June 2022. Later in the year, rooftop solar arrays will be installed at City Hall and the Council on Aging and, on a separate timeline, rooftop solar and a parking canopy will be constructed at the new police station.
Additional project details, including the construction schedule and presentations, are available on the City of Beverly Clean Energy web page.