Friday, September 28, 2012
City of Lowell and Ameresco Are Joined by Congresswoman Tsongas to Break Ground on New 1.5 MW Solar Installation
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. & LOWELL, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC), a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, today hosted Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, and Massachusetts and City of Lowell officials at a groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the start of construction on a new 1.5 megawatt (MW) ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) system at a Lowell capped-landfill site. This new project is the latest phase of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Ameresco, which also implemented an earlier 348 kW solar PPA and an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) that included sweeping infrastructure upgrades to 47 municipal buildings that are expected to save Lowell over $1.5 million in energy costs annually.
“During the Industrial Revolution, our region’s gateway cities led the way in powering American innovation. Today, solar projects like this pay homage to the Fifth District’s long tradition of sparking progress and embody the clean energy renaissance we are seeing across Massachusetts,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “Renewable energy research, development, and installations like the future solar array here are key to the economic future of the country, our Commonwealth, and the City of Lowell, particularly during this economic downturn. Congratulations to the City of Lowell and Ameresco for a collaborative effort that will cut the City’s energy costs, reduce its carbon footprint and spur economic development.”
More than 6,000 solar panels will soon revitalize the City of Lowell’s capped landfill site on Westford Street, transforming an under-utilized open space to a modern green-energy site that will generate electricity cost savings for the City. Through a PPA with Ameresco, the City will also be able to manage and control its electricity budget over a 20 year contract term, reducing potential future electricity price spikes.
As part of its comprehensive energy cost savings program, Ameresco previously installed and now operates five roof-top mounted solar PV systems at three elementary schools, a middle school and the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.
“Once this latest project is complete, everyone will see what a green community Lowell has become,” said Lowell Mayor Patrick Ó. Murphy. “The bottom line is that the expansion of Lowell’s renewable infrastructure not only accrues economic benefits, but it also helps us reach our sustainability commitments as a Massachusetts Green Community.”
“We are pleased to continue and expand our partnership with Ameresco, which has already had a positive impact on our environment and our local economy,” said Bernie Lynch, City Manager of the City of Lowell. “These new solar installations will allow for significant energy cost savings that can be redirected into the reinvestment and rebuilding of our community for all residents.”
This new ground-mounted PV system comes as the third phase in a successful and award-generating partnership between Ameresco and the City of Lowell. Earlier this summer, city, state and company officials gathered at Lowell City Hall to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the ESPC, which featured 23 energy conservation measures including electrical, mechanical, weatherization, water and operational upgrades at 28 schools and 19 municipal facilities that resulted in an annual 25 percent overall savings for the City.
“The visionary leadership of the City of Lowell has proven that environmental sustainability, through the combination of energy efficiency and renewable energy, is a fiscally sound strategy for both local communities and the Commonwealth,” stated George P. Sakellaris, President and CEO, Ameresco. “Leading by example, Lowell is saving over $1.6 million annually of tax-payer dollars and reinvesting those dollars into the local infrastructure, economy and environment. We are proud to be a partner of this precedent-setting community.”
Combined, the ESPC and solar PPA have enabled the City of Lowell to leverage government and utility incentives to become a Green Community. Ameresco delivers the cost-saving benefits of solar power to cities and municipalities across the Commonwealth by financing, engineering, and operating photovoltaic systems. In turn, they receive these benefits without incurring capital and operating costs.
About Ameresco, Inc.
Founded in 2000, Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC) is a leading independent provider of comprehensive services, energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, asset sustainability and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North America. Ameresco’s services include upgrades to a facility’s energy infrastructure and the development, construction and operation of renewable energy plants. Ameresco has successfully completed energy saving, environmentally responsible projects with federal, state and local governments, healthcare and educational institutions, housing authorities, and commercial and industrial customers. With its corporate headquarters in Framingham, MA, Ameresco provides local expertise through its 63 offices in 34 states and five Canadian provinces. Ameresco has more than 900 employees. For more information, visit www.ameresco.com.
About the City of Lowell, Massachusetts
A crossroad of commerce and creativity, the City of Lowell is a diverse urban environment. Named one of the best places to live by Boston Magazine, the City is characterized by its established arts community, distinct residences and commercial vitality. The fourth largest city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Lowell is home to an eclectic mix of cultural attractions and events including the Lowell Folk Festival, Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell Memorial Auditorium and the Tsongas Arena. A leader in urban redevelopment, Lowell offers a variety of residential and commercial space from renovated mills to modern high-rises. Strategically located at the intersections of Routes 495, 93 and 3, Lowell has established itself as a leading business and entertainment destination throughout Massachusetts and Greater New England.