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Agawam Solar Projects Inaugurated

AGAWAM, Mass. -- Two solar projects developed by Boston-based Citizens Energy Corporation were inaugurated today in Agawam, Mass.

Citizens Energy Corporation Chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II was joined by Agawam Mayor Richard Cohen and project partners HP Hood LLC owners John and Chris Kaneb, and Westmass Area Development Corporation President Kenn W. Delude at the inauguration of the utility-scale solar projects.

The first project is a 1.8-megawatt facility providing power to an abutting dairy processing plant owned by HP Hood. The second, developed in cooperation with the Westmass Area Development Corporation, is providing 1.8 megawatts of clean, renewable energy to the Town of Agawam.

“We’re proud to work with our partners here in Western Massachusetts to bring the promise of clean, carbon-free energy the region,” said Kennedy, founder of the non-profit Citizens Energy Corporation. “While reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, these projects will also provide 20 years of low-cost clean energy to the Town of Agawam and HP Hood. At the same time, they will generate revenues to provide energy assistance to the poor and expand our ability to find new projects and create new pools of charitable funds.”

The HP Hood project is located on 10 acres of a capped and closed landfill previously used as a driving range. It will prevent the release of over 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from non-renewable power plants while providing much-needed commercial tax revenue to the Town of Agawam. The privately owned HP Hood LLC is one of the oldest dairy processors in the country.

The second project, sited on underutilized industrial land that is part of the Agawam Regional Industrial Park, has an installed capacity of 1.8 megawatts and was developed in cooperation with Westmass Area Development Corporation, a not-for-profit company working with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to provide economic development. Under a power agreement, the Town of Agawam is buying the electricity generated by the solar facility at a competitive rate, receiving a total of over $1 million in annual benefits.

“The Westmass Area Development Corporation is proud to have been able to facilitate the installation of nearly two megawatts of renewable solar energy at the Agawam Regional Industrial Park,” said Westmass President Kenn W. Delude. “Working with Citizens Energy, we were confident that this green energy project would be a success and a benefit to the community of Agawam.”

Citizens Energy, launched in 1979, uses innovative ventures in the energy and other industries to generate revenues that are channeled to assistance programs for the poor and the elderly, including its signature Heating Oil Program, which has provided millions of Americans with free and discount heating oil for over 30 years.

Citizens Solar, a division of Citizens Energy, has developed half a dozen utility-scale solar projects in recent years and is working to expand its renewable energy portfolio.

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