January 12th, 2017

Solar Energy Companies Collaborate with Brandeis University to Install 1.3 Megawatt Virtual-Net-Metered Solar Array to Save up to $2 Million in Energy Costs Over 20 Years

Original article:

You can also read about this project in Solar Industry Magazine here.

Solar project resulted from collaboration between Kenyon Energy, Borrego Solar, AEW Capital Management, and Competitive Energy Services with Brandeis

LOWELL, MA — Four solar project partners—Competitive Energy Services, Kenyon Energy, Borrego Solar Systems and AEW Capital Management—today said they have developed a collaboration with Brandeis University on a solar energy system that will directly reduce Brandeis’ electricity costs. The system is expected to be operational in spring 2017.

Under the program, Brandeis will purchase solar energy from a 1.27 megawatt (MW) system installed on the roof of a property in Somerville, Mass., which is owned by an affiliate of AEW Capital Management. Through the utility billing mechanism known as virtual net metering, Brandeis will receive credits on its utility bill for every kilowatt hour (kWh) produced by the remotely located installation.

“We hope this is the first of many opportunities to support new solar developments in Massachusetts, and hedge against the volatile, fossil fuel-based electricity market,” said Mary Fischer, Brandeis’ Sustainability Manager. “While we continue to investigate long-term, on-site solar for our campus, this agreement is an immediate opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and fiscal responsibility.”

Fisher said that the system is expected to reduce Brandeis’ energy bill by an estimated $70,000 in the first year, and up to $2 million over 20 years.

The solar array will generate nearly 1.6 million kWhs of energy in its first year, enough to provide 3.5 percent of Brandeis’ energy needs. In Massachusetts, this amount of power is enough to offset approximately 34 million pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents over the next 20 years,1 the equivalent of eliminating 40 million vehicle miles or taking nearly 220 cars permanently off the road.

Brandeis has a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Kenyon Energy to finance the solar installation. The university will pay Kenyon Energy for the electricity generated by the solar facility at a cost significantly below its current utility rates. Brandeis is able to mitigate the risk of significant, unexpected future rate increases by contracting a predictably escalating rate through the PPA term.

Kenyon Energy, a national solar developer and financier, will own, operate, and manage the facility to ensure maximum energy generation for Brandeis across the system’s lifecycle.

“This project will bring tremendous benefit to Brandeis University,” said Ray Gonzalez, President of Kenyon Energy. “We’re delighted to help diversify the University’s energy consumption, reduce electricity costs and help Brandeis achieve important long-term sustainability goals.”

Borrego Solar—the leading solar developer, designer, installer and O&M provider in Massachusetts—built and developed the array. Borrego Solar has installed approximately 150 MW of solar in the Commonwealth. Competitive Energy Services consulted Brandeis in its effort to go solar and facilitated the contracting of Borrego Solar and the site it developed for the array.

“Brandeis and Competitive Energy have worked together on energy initiatives since 2013, and this project represents the culmination of months of investigation, analysis, and collaboration,” said Zac Bloom, director of sustainability for Competitive Energy Services.

About Brandeis University

Brandeis University is a highly competitive private research university with a focus on undergraduate education. Founded in 1948 by the American Jewish community and named for Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Brandeis embraces the values of academic excellence, critical thinking, openness to all, and making the world a better place. Brandeis is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), which represents the 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. Located just west of Boston in Waltham, Massachusetts, Brandeis’ distinguished faculty are dedicated to the education and support of 3,600 undergraduates and more than 2,000 graduate students.

About Kenyon Energy

Kenyon Energy finances, plans, develops, and operates distributed and grid connected, solar power facilities delivering renewable electricity nationwide. Since 2009, Kenyon Energy has been a leading national provider of commercial, industrial and utility scale solar solutions developing a reputation as one of the industry's most reliable partners. Kenyon Energy and affiliates comprise a national, independent power producer providing direct, solar-generated electricity to municipalities, utilities and corporations. For more information about Kenyon Energy, please visit

About Borrego Solar

Established in 1980, Borrego Solar Systems Inc. is one of the leading designers, developers, installers and O&M providers of commercial and utility photovoltaic (PV) solar power systems in the United States with more than 290 megawatts (MW) of installations in operation and nearly 100 MW currently under construction. Borrego Solar is a market leader nationally in addition to having the largest market share in Massachusetts and New York. With more than three decades of experience, Borrego Solar’s PV systems are efficient, reliable and cost-effective. The company’s mission is to solve the world's energy problems by accelerating the adoption of renewable energy. Its people are committed to excellence in every aspect of solar design, construction and operation. For more information, visit

About Competitive Energy Services

Competitive Energy Services is an independent energy advisory firm that provides strategic energy consulting services for commercial, industrial, governmental and institutional customers throughout the United States and Canada. CES manages energy procurement activities on behalf of clients for energy commodities and renewable energy systems ng unparalleled market insight and a powerful, multi-supplier competitive bid system. Other services range from energy risk management, budgeting and hedging strategies, to greenhouse gas accounting and climate action planning. For more information, please visit

About AEW Capital Management

Founded in 1981, AEW Capital Management, L.P. (AEW) provides real estate investment management services to investors worldwide. One of the world’s leading real estate investment advisors, AEW and its affiliates manage $55.8 billion of property and securities in North America, Europe and Asia (as of June 30, 2016). Grounded in research and experienced in the complexities of the real estate and capital markets, AEW actively manages portfolios in both the public and private property markets and across the risk/return spectrum. AEW and its affiliates have offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Boston, Los Angeles, London, and Paris, as well as additional offices in nine European cities.

November 18th, 2016

SKTC approves solar consortium | The Narragansett Times

Original article:

Contact: Kendra Gravelle; 401-789-9744

SOUTH KINGSTOWN — At its meeting Monday, the town council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution authorizing the town manager to establish a South Kingstown Solar Consortium Agreement in conjunction with the University of Rhode Island and Narragansett.

“As we move forward with developing solar projects in South Kingstown, what we are looking to do is to have a joint agreement with the town of Narragansett and the University of Rhode Island for the management of solar contracts that any of the parties are to agree to,” said South Kingstown Town Manager Stephen Alfred.

South Kingstown will act as the managing partner for the consortium, Alfred added. As the managing partner, South Kingstown will sign the contracts with Competitive Energy Services, LLC (CES), a solar energy consulting service based in Portland, Maine.

The town council voted unanimously to authorize the town manager to execute a contract with Providence-based Energy Development Partners (EDP) for virtual off-site net metering, allowing the partners to receive renewable energy credits for the solar power contributed to the power grid.

“We’ll be committing the power load of the town of South Kingstown and the power load of the school department — the same goes for Narragansett with their municipality and schools and the University of Rhode Island — to obtain the renewable energy credits,” Alfred explained. The contract with EDP is expected to earn around $2.2 million in renewable energy credits for the town of South Kingstown, and around $1.7 million for the South Kingstown School District, over a 25-year period, Alfred added.

Those renewable energy credits can either be held or can eventually be sold. The town council also unanimously agreed to continue an existing consulting contract, originally granted in September, 2015, with CES through September of next year for an amount not to exceed $22,000.

The town council also agreed to award a 25-year contract to CES thereafter for the monthly management and accounting services associated with the contract with EDP, subject to agreement from the town of Narragansett and URI.

“This is the most complex agreement I’ve had to work on,” Alfred said. “We’re talking about a major piece of work here - probably the first of its kind.”

November 1st, 2016

CES CEO Dr. Richard Silkman Named One of Maine's 10 Most Intriguing People by Portland Monthly

Though we at CES have long known it, Portland Monthly Magazine has recognized CES's Dr. Richard Silkman as one of the 10 Most Intriguing People in Maine. Dr. Silkman's interview with the magazine focuses on his efforts with bringing cost-saving alternative energy generation to the state of Maine.

See the full magazine edition here:

A PDF copy of the article can be found here:

A text version of the article is here:

Or pick up a hard copy at a local Maine store near you!

July 20th, 2016

UMass Amherst Installing More than 15,000 Solar Panels to Reduce Emissions, Cut Electricity Costs by $6.2 Million

Original article:

Contact: Larry Rivais; 413-545-0444

AMHERST, Mass. ­– The University of Massachusetts Amherst has embarked on a major solar energy initiative that will cut its electric bills by $6.2 million over 20 years and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 31,000 non-metric tons of carbon dioxide.

At no upfront cost to itself, the university is installing 15,576 photovoltaic panels across campus to provide 5.5 megawatts (MW DC) of clean renewable electrical power at heavily discounted rates. The total annual generation from the new installations is estimated to equal the annual electrical energy use of 900 Massachusetts homes.

The eight solar panel installations – six on rooftops and two above existing asphalt parking lots – will be engineered and constructed by Brightergy, a national energy company with offices in Charlestown, Mass. Brightergy, through its partnership with Sol Systems, arranged for project finance, ownership and ongoing maintenance of the solar installations with ConEdison Solutions for up to 20 years. The university will buy all of the electricity from the $16 million project for direct use on campus through a power purchasing agreement. The installations will be completed by the end of 2016.

“UMass Amherst prides itself on being a sustainability leader, serving as a model for campuses and communities across the country,” said Shane Conklin, associate vice chancellor for facilities and campus services. “We are very excited to be moving forward with what we view as an economic, environmental and educational win for our entire community.”

“We are thrilled to be involved with the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s forward-thinking decision to execute this watershed project,” said Brightergy CEO Adam Blake. “This is a partnership with multi-faceted benefits for many, not least of whom will be the students who will have a unique, real-world STEM learning opportunity on campus.”

“America’s college campuses often help point the way to the future when it comes to sustainability and renewable energy,” said Mark Noyes, president and CEO of ConEdison Solutions. “Working in conjunction with Brightergy and Sol Systems, we are proud to be helping the University of Massachusetts Amherst reinforce its commitment to clean energy and a greener tomorrow.”

In addition to presentations and career mentoring by Brightergy, the partnership offers student access to the Mullins Center parking lot solar array as a learning lab. The agreement with Brightergy is also providing the university with $41,000 in educational funds for UMass Amherst students over the first three years and internship opportunities for four students over the next three years.

UMass Amherst has already cut its greenhouse gases by 23 percent since 2005, in addition to establishing a variety of green initiatives including energy reduction, using sustainable and local foods, composting and promoting alternative transportation. The university holds a STARS Gold designation from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and was ranked among the Top 50 Green Colleges by Princeton Review in 2015. There are no up-front costs to the university for the solar arrays. ConEdison Solutions sells the electricity to the university at a rate well below market, and as owner, ConEdison Solutions benefits from government incentives. The solar arrays will save the university $89,000 on electricity in the first year, and the savings will grow to average $310,000 per year and total $6.2 million over 20 years.

ConEdison Solutions, one of America’s largest energy services firms, and Sol Systems, a solar energy finance and investment firm headquartered in Washington, D.C., are the project finance partners. Competitive Energy Services of Portland, Maine, provides energy-related consulting services to the campus and was involved in the review and competitive bidding of the program. Most of the power—4.487 MW DC—will come from the combined 11.6 acres of arrays on steel canopies to be built above parking lots at the Mullins Center and the North Residential Area. The canopies will resemble those already operating at the 192 kW AC prototype installation at the university’s Robsham Memorial Center for Visitors on Massachusetts Avenue. With a clearance of 13 feet, 6 inches, the canopies will allow shaded parking for cars and trucks.

Rooftop installations will be on the Recreation Center, Computer Science Building, Champions Center, Fine Arts Center, police station and bus maintenance garage.

The university will continue to generate approximately 78 percent of its energy at its Combined Heat and Power plant on campus. The new solar power will replace about one-fifth of the remaining 22 percent, which is purchased from Eversource, at a basic saving of about 7 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The savings are greater, however, because the solar power can be applied to peak-time usage, which carries higher rates. “This will cut peak usage charges in half,” said Raymond Jackson, director of the UMass Amherst Physical Plant.

The savings for the university are guaranteed for 20 years; although the actual rate may rise, the difference between the university’s cost and commercial rates will remain, Jackson said. Other project benefits include a reduction in emissions from the regional electric grid by the equivalent of about 31,456 non-metric tons of carbon dioxide over the 20 years. If the university were to become owner of the project, it would be credited with the emissions reduction, which would advance its long-term goals for sustainability. “In year 10, we have the ability to buy the units at a reduced cost,” Jackson said. “By 2050, we want to be carbon neutral.”

May 9th, 2016

Additional Promotions at CES | Bangor Daily News

Original article:

Portland, ME—May 6, 2015—Competitive Energy Services, a strategic energy advisory firm with offices in Portland and Boston, would like to announce three promotions:

Michelle Tham has been promoted to Director of Analytics. Ms. Tham joined CES in 2007 as an analyst and has grown her expertise in commodity markets, regulatory issues, renewable energy, tariff and contract negotiations, and facility operations. She heads the Analytical Department and is integral in client management. Ms. Tham holds a BA in Environmental Engineering and Political Science from Rice University and a JD from Washington University in St. Louis.

Greg Smith has been promoted to Senior Energy Analyst. Mr. Smith joined CES in 2012 after receiving his undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Maine. Now with more than 3 years in the Analytical Department, his primary responsibilities include risk management, capital project evaluations, and energy market and policy research.

Matt Gamache has been promoted to Energy and Renewables Analyst. Mr. Gamache joined CES as an Energy Analyst in 2014. His responsibilities include energy budgeting, greenhouse gas emissions tracking, financial and project impact analysis, climate action plan development, and RFP administration. He holds an undergraduate degree in Government and Environmental Studies from Bowdoin College.

About Competitive Energy Services

CES provides energy consulting services to commercial, industrial, governmental and institutional customers throughout the United States and Canada. CES manages energy procurement activities on behalf of clients for electricity, natural gas, oil, propane and biomass. CES advises clients on sustainability issues such as: greenhouse gas accounting and management; climate action planning; renewable energy procurement; energy efficiency evaluations; carbon offset procurement; and, onsite heat and power due diligence.

You can find out more from the website:

Media Contact:
Alexandra Munier
Senior Marketing Coordinator
207-772-6190 x239


April 25th, 2016

Altus Power Interconnects 2.6 MW of Community Solar Projects in Warren, MA: 190 Households and UMass Memorial Health Care Benefit

News Release

Altus Power America, Inc.

Contact: Justin Marron, 203-698-0090,

GREENWICH, Conn.--April 25, 2016--PRNewswire--Altus Power America, Inc. ("Altus Power") is proud to announce that it has started delivering solar net metering credits from its two community solar systems in Warren, Massachusetts. Energized in December of 2015, Altus Power's Warren projects are some of the first ground mounted community solar systems in Massachusetts to be fully subscribed and operational. The systems provide energy savings, through solar net metering credits, to more than 190 households in Western Massachusetts as well as to UMass Memorial Health Care. In addition to the systems in Warren, Altus Power has a large community solar system in Belchertown, MA that will become operational in late April 2016. Altus Power is planning a community based ribbon cutting ceremony for the systems in late spring, together with local land owners, towns, communities and other beneficiaries of these community solar systems.

"As an anchor off-taker for Altus's two community solar projects, UMass Memorial Health Care can realize a reduction in its annual electricity costs by more than $40,000," said Gary Valcourt, Assistant Vice President, Facilities & Capital Planning for UMass Memorial. "In addition to providing our academic medical center with significant savings on its energy bills, UMass Memorial is playing a critical role in ensuring these community solar projects are not only built, but also gain the necessary financing. The projects truly represent a win-win scenario for UMass Memorial as well the local community."

Altus Power is committed to the community solar sector and is an official National Community Solar Partner of the Obama Administration's Community Solar Initiative that was launched in July 2015. Lars Norell, Managing Partner of Altus Power America, said, "We are pleased to be a leader in community solar, which we believe makes the benefits of renewable energy accessible to every day households. We're committed to growing our community solar platform and we are expanding to Vermont, New York and other states outside of Massachusetts that are supporting community solar."

About Altus Power America, Inc.
Altus Power America, Inc. is a Greenwich, CT-based company funded in part by GSO/Blackstone that invests in, owns and manages clean energy projects. Its principals draw on their deep expertise in finance, construction, engineering and design to provide renewable energy savings and solar solutions to commercial and public sector clients.

# # #

Competitive Energy Services Note: UMass Memorial Health Care has been a client of CES since 2012. CES assisted UMass Memorial in negotiating the contract for these solar net metering credits.

April 11th, 2016

Green Light for More Solar Power | UMass Medical Growing Green

Original article:

Contact:; 508-856-2000

The switch is now on at the third solar power project supported by UMass Medical School through a program known as “net metering.”

With some 9,800 solar panels spread over 12 acres in Williamsburg, Mass., the latest project can generate approximately 3 megawatts of electricity by leveraging photons from the sun. The medical school is buying 70 percent of the energy produced through a net metering credit agreement with the remaining output to be purchased by other local and state entities.

“We are pleased to continue doing our part to support solar as a feasible, sustainable component of our regional energy mix,” said John Baker, associate vice chancellor of facilities management at UMMS.

Neither the building design nor the open space at the Worcester campus can support a significant solar array. So to do its part as an institution, the medical school worked closely with the University President’s office to craft long-term agreements to support more than 10 megawatts of solar-generated power from arrays developed in other locations. Competitive Energy Services LLC advised the medical school and the University President’s office on each of the three solar projects.

The first of the projects, a 2.5-megawatt facility in Palmer, Mass. developed by Major Energy and Greenhouse Solar started producing electricity in December of 2014. The second project, a 6-megawatt solar farm in Warren, Mass. built by First Wind (now SunEdison) went online last June. The Williamsburg project was developed by Solar City and went live at the end of February.

Under the Massachusetts public entity net metering program, UMMS is assigned the meters at the solar farms. As the power produced by the solar arrays is distributed to the electrical grid for use, the meters spin backwards. UMMS gets a credit on its monthly electric utility bill based on the meter readings and pays the developers for the solar power at a reduced amount. The program is expected to save the medical school millions of dollars in power costs over time.

On the sustainability and environmental impact front, by enabling the generation of over 10 megawatts of solar power from the three projects, UMMS is supporting projects that will avoid burning the equivalent of 20,000 barrels of oil or 5,000 tons of coal, and preventing about 10,000 tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere each year. The three solar arrays can generate enough electricity to power approximately 1,800 homes.

# # #

Competitive Energy Services Note: The University of Massachusetts Medical School and the entire UMass System have been clients of CES since 2012.

March 30th, 2016

New England Energy | Follow Us | Yankee Magazine

While much of the world frets about what to do about energy resources and climate change, three New England communities are showing that resourcefulness and ingenuity can still make a difference. Second in a two-part series about New England energy.

Link to Original Article by Howard Mansfield:

CES's IT Manager Dan Blais was featured in Yankee Magazine for his work in managing GridSolar's Boothbay Pilot Project.

Excerpt: "...I meet Dan Blais, and we tour the backs of convenience stores, shopping centers, and an industrial park by a gravel pit—Wish you were here?—and, mercifully, the front of one inn. It’s a tour of tan Dumpster-sized boxes, white tractor-trailer-sized boxes, little tan boxes with fans, and solar panels. He talks kilowatt hours, functionality, syncing...."

For more information on GridSolar and how it relates to Competitive Energy Services, go here.

For more on Dan Blais, click here.

October 27th, 2015

EPA Recognizes Hypertherm Inc. as a Top Green Power Partner | Press Release

News Release

Environmental Protection Agency – Region 1

Contact: David Deegan, 617-918-1017

BOSTON – Hypertherm Inc., based in Hanover N.H., has been recognized by EPA as one of the nation’s top purchasers of Green Power.

As part of EPA’s Green Power Partnership, more than 1,300 organizations are purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually, avoiding carbon pollution equal to that created by the electricity use of more than 2.5 million American homes.

In 2014, Hypertherm used green power for 100 percent of its U.S.-based energy needs by purchasing more than 18 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs). Given the energy intensity of the industrial goods and services sector, Hypertherm is one of the industry’s only 100-percent green power users, with 2014 domestic usage equivalent to the annual electricity use of nearly 2,000 average American homes.

“Hypertherm and EPA’s other Green Power Purchasers are driving the development of new renewable energy sources and demonstrating that green power makes good environmental and business sense,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “We applaud their efforts and look forward to other organizations following their lead.”

Hypertherm designs and manufactures plasma, laser and waterjet cutting products for use in a variety of industries such as shipbuilding, manufacturing, and automotive repair. The company recently opened its first LEED Gold manufacturing facility near its Hanover headquarters. Hypertherm plans to meet an array of environmental sustainability goals by 2020. These goals include producing zero landfill waste, improving the energy efficiency of its global operations by 30 percent, and reducing the carbon impact of its products by 20 percent. The company also employs an internal environmental strategy with a measurement and rating system to advance its sustainability aims.

In accepting the award, Hypertherm Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility Jenny Levy said the company was honored to be included among other environmentally conscious organizations. “Hypertherm’s decision to use green power is a reflection of our long-standing commitment to the environment and lean business principles that include improvement of our energy efficiencies,” Levy explained. “We strongly believe supporting clean energy sources is a sound business decision that not only fits with our broader sustainability strategies but benefits the world at large as we all work to collectively address the effects of climate change.”

EPA’s Green Power Partnership provides quarterly updated lists of partners using green power in the following categories: K-12 schools, technology and telecommunications, local government, and retail, among others. More information on EPA’s Green Power Partnership can be found at:

# # #

Competitive Energy Services Note: Hypertherm has been a client of CES since 2012.

October 23rd, 2015

South Portland receives two proposals for solar farms on city land | Portland Press Herald

The city will analyze the two plans, one from a Maine company working in concert with an out-of-state firm, in the coming weeks.

SOUTH PORTLAND — The city’s move toward environmental sustainability took a step forward this week when it received two competitive proposals to develop and operate solar farms on municipal properties, including the former landfill off Highland Avenue.

The city sought proposals for photovoltaic systems as part of an overall effort to reduce its municipal carbon footprint and optimize utility rates. Both proposals received by Wednesday’s deadline offered power purchase agreements that would provide electricity to the city at below-market rates.

One proposal came from Ameresco Inc. of Framingham, Massachusetts, and the other from Revision Energy of Maine and New Hampshire and Energy Systems Group of Newburgh, Indiana.

Ameresco’s proposal offers two options. The first calls for installing a 658-kilowatt array at the capped 28-acre landfill that would generate nearly 846,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year. The second option calls for four separate but interconnected 660-kilowatt arrays at the landfill to generate a total of 3.38 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year.

Revision and ESG offered a two-phase proposal. The first phase calls for installing a 245- kilowatt array at the 146-acre Wainwright Field complex on Gary L. Maietta Parkway that would generate more than 321,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year. In the second phase, a 924-kilowatt array would be installed at the landfill that would generate nearly 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year, with the potential to add two additional arrays. The second phase also would include sustainability projects related to wastewater treatment, wind energy and transportation.

Analysis of the two proposals, comparing the financial and sustainability benefits to the city, is expected in the coming weeks.

The proposals are being analyzed and compared by Julie Rosenbach, the city’s sustainability coordinator, and Competitive Energy Services of Portland, an independent consulting firm that helps companies and nonprofit organizations manage energy costs.

Eleven firms attended a mandatory pre-bid meeting held on Sept. 22, when any company that planned to submit a proposal was expected to tour sites that were included in the city’s request for proposals.

“I expected to receive two to four proposals,” Rosenbach said Friday.

The city sought proposals to design, install, finance, own, operate and maintain the photovoltaic systems for up to 20 years.

The city is following a 40-page Municipal Climate Action Plan that puts South Portland at the forefront of the Maine communities taking wide-ranging steps to reduce pollution and increase sustainability. Recently the city has hosted zero-waste municipal gatherings, purchased electric cars and installed public charging stations, banned plastic foam food packaging and imposed a 5-cent fee on single-use plastic and paper shopping bags.

City Planner Tex Haeuser is participating in stakeholder meetings hosted by the Maine Public Utilities Commission that aim to streamline and clarify state laws related to solar power generation and distribution.

Contact Kelley Bouchard at 207-791-6328.