Home Grown Clean Energy at Bay Colony

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Purpose of the project

In August of 2014, Boston Properties, Healthy Planet Partners and Solaire Generation “Flipped the Switch” on the largest garage-mounted solar canopy in the Northeastern United States. Located at Bay Colony in Waltham, Massachusetts, the 842kW solar canopy covers 60,000 SF (1.4 acres) atop the 950 Winter Street parking garage.

 

Approach

Boston Properties partnered with Solaire Generation and Healthy Planet Partners under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to deliver the system. As the Net Metering Credit (NMC) buyer, Boston Properties agreed to host the array and to purchase NMCs generated by the system. The transaction reduces
energy emissions and the total utility cost for the tenants at Bay Colony. BXP’s stakeholders will benefit from renewable energy for the next 20+ years without any initial and/or on-going operating costs.

Delivery of the system was complicated by the logistics of building on an occupied parking garage. Over the course of an eight-week schedule, 300 tons of steel and 2,850 solar photovoltaic panels were installed. The construction tasks required careful coordination to meet the parking needs of tenants, customers, and visitors - and to guarantee a safe and successful renewable energy installation.

 

Results

Annually, the system will produce one million kWh of electricity, the energy equivalent to twenty per cent of Bay Colony Building 950’s total consumption; or, enough energy to power 130 Massachusetts homes and offset 340 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

In addition to generating clean energy, the proprietary Solaire R5 Long-span canopy shelter and water management infrastructure provide covered parking that protects tenants, customers, and
visitors at 950 Winter Street from the elements.

 

"With the commissioning of this solar canopy, our properties now host 950kW of solar installations. We are pleased to be doing our part to reach the State’s aggressive goal of achieving 1600 megawatts of installed solar power by 2020."

 -Bryan Koop, SVP and Boston Regional Manager, Boston Properties