MIT, Boston Medical Center, and Post Office Square Redevelopment Corporation have formed an alliance to buy electricity from a large new solar power installation, adding carbon-free energy to the grid and demonstrating a partnership model for other organizations in climate-change mitigation efforts.
The agreement will enable the construction of a roughly 650-acre, 60-megawatt solar farm on farmland in North Carolina. Called Summit Farms, the facility, the largest renewable-energy project ever built in the U.S. through an alliance of diverse buyers, is expected to be completed and to begin delivering power into the grid by the end of this year.
MIT’s purchase of power from this facility’s 255,000 solar panels is equivalent to 40 percent of the Institute’s current electricity use; the purchase will neutralize 100 percent of electricity consumption for both Boston Medical Center (BMC), a 496-bed academic medical center in Boston’s South End, and Post Office Square Redevelopment Corporation (POS), which manages an underground parking garage and a park in downtown Boston.
MIT has committed to buying 73 percent of the power generated by the new array, with BMC purchasing 26 percent and POS purchasing the remainder. MIT’s purchase of 44 megawatts is among the largest publicly announced purchases of solar energy by any American college or university, and the largest among academic institutions in the eastern U.S.
The partnership that enabled this project was managed by the Boston-based organization A Better City, of which MIT, BMC, and POS are all members; CustomerFirst Renewablesdesigned, structured, and led the negotiation of the energy solution. The design, construction, and operation of Summit Farms will be handled by Dominion, a Virginia-based energy company, which will own the facility and assume responsibility for the project’s full cost — with financing made possible by the guaranteed power purchase.« go to news