Riverwalk Installs 2nd Largest Solar Energy System in MA
LAWRENCE - Over a year ago the owners of Riverwalk Properties realized that they needed to control their skyrocketing electricity costs. After evaluating several options, they chose to install one of the largest solar electric power systems in New England to help offset their electricity use. “In retrospect, we feel very fortunate to have been ahead of the curve in developing this project which will help to control our rising energy costs” said Tom Parker, chief financial officer of Riverwalk Partners, LLC.
The electricity generated by this 121-kilowatt / 392 panel solar PV energy system will provide the equivalent amount of power typically used by 15 to 20 homes. But just as importantly, because solar uses sunlight and not fossil fuels, the system will avoid the emission of about 2.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide over it’s expected 25-year life that otherwise would contribute to global warming. This is the equivalent emissions created by driving over 3 million miles in the average car, or the amount of carbon dioxide that would be absorbed by planting 13,000 trees.
Sitting atop a refurbished mill building that was once powered by hydro-power from the Merrimack River, this solar PV array is helping power the economic development of the area using a different renewable energy source. The Riverwalk Properties, located in Lawrence, Mass, is home to 50 tenants, in a broad range of businesses all of which are impacted by rising energy costs.
Not only will this mill complex be partially run by solar power, but the project was a local collaborative effort led by Solar Works’ Massachusetts-based engineering and installation team that designed a system comprised primarily of Massachusetts Manufactured components from Solectria Renewables LLC of Lawrence, Mass. and Schott Solar of Billerica, Mass.
This Major solar initiative will include an interpretive display in the lobby of Sal’s Pizza Restaurant and Function Facility located on the first floor of the building. This display will help educate the Sal’s Pizza patrons about the benefits of renewable energy. According to Sal Lupoli, CEO of Sal’s Pizza, “We are so excited about demonstrating our sincere regard for the environment to the community and that solar energy is a viable alternative today.”
“Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this project is that it can shape the way the next generation thinks about electricity,” said Renewable Energy Trust Director Warren Leon. “Expanding the use of solar power will increase our energy independence, help support job creation at our high-tech companies and manufacturers, and lead to a cleaner environment.”
MTC is the state’s economic development agency for renewable energy and the innovation economy. The agency administers the Renewable Energy Trust, which is helping to create jobs for the commonwealth by stimulating increased supply and demand for green power. The Trust was created in 1998 through the landmark electric restructuring law to generate environmental and economic benefits for Massachusetts. For more information, please visit the agency’s website www.Masstech.org.
Riverwalk Properties LLC is located at 354 Merrimack Street, Lawrence, MA 01843, 978-681-7777. Call or for more information, please visit our website.
Solar Works, Inc. is a renewable energy systems integrator and developer, providing solar electric (photovoltaic) and solar thermal systems for clients worldwide. Solar Works has expertise in engineering design, project Management, performance analysis, project financing and renewable energy credit programs. Founded in 1980, Solar Works is active in commercializing new technologies and developing renewable energy programs for both public and private sector clients.
The Valley Patriot · October 3, 2006 · The Valley Patriot · Original Article