November 6th, 2013

First Wind holds groundbreaking ceremony for solar project in Warren | The Boston Globe

First Wind, a Boston-based company that develops, finances, builds, and operates utility-scale renewable energy projects throughout the US, held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for a solar project in Warren that will generate power, much of which will be used by the University of Massachusetts campus in Lowell.

First Wind has done much of its work in Maine, Utah, and Hawaii. This is the company’s first project in its home state.

The project in Warren is paired with another in Millbury. Both are expected to be operational in June. Together, they will generate enough electricity to power 3,100 homes, First Wind has estimated. UMass has agreed to buy most of the solar power under a 30-year contract, a Globe story in September noted. Construction on the Warren and Millbury solar projects is being led by Borrego Solar Systems, a designer and installer of commercial and utility solar power systems.

Among officials attending the ceremony were US Representative Richard E. Neal and Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. of the Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs. Under Governor Deval Patrick, the Commonwealth has an aggressive policy encouraging the use of renewable energy.

In a statement, First Wind chief executive Paul Gaynor said: “We are proud to begin construction on our first solar project in our home state of Massachusetts. We would like to thank our great partners in the University of Massachusetts, Borrego Solar, and the communities of Warren, Millbury, and Orange, for helping us to bring clean, renewable energy to the Commonwealth. This project is a testament to the policies put in place by the state’s leaders, which have made Massachusetts a very attractive place to develop renewable energy projects while also creating a market where we can sell cost-competitive, clean power to homes and businesses in the state.”

Chris Reidy can be reached at