Transformed unusable land into a source of clean energy
Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC, (“Nautilus”) and ISM Solar Development, LLC (“ISM Solar”), leaders in the development of solar energy projects, yesterday celebrated the opening of a 3.43MW community solar project sited on a remediated EPA superfund site. Located in Cranston, Rhode Island, the project represents the transformation a former environmental liability into an environmental asset, providing clean energy to 509 Rhode Island households that reside in National Grid’s territory.
“Today, we are celebrating the transformation of a brownfield into a clean, renewable energy source, while making the benefits of solar power available to more Rhode Islanders,” said Governor Dan McKee at a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday alongside Speaker of the House Joe Shekarchi, State Representative Brandon Potter, Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor, and community partners. “The state’s community solar program allows National Grid customers, who want to reduce carbon emissions but who cannot install solar panels on their own homes, to subscribe to a local solar project and receive a discount on their electric bills. This locally constructed community solar project provides environmental and economic benefits and is a win-win for the State of Rhode Island and its constituents and I congratulate ISM Solar, Watershed Geo and Nautilus Solar.”
The community solar project was developed by ISM Solar, and Nautilus serves as the owner-operator responsible for the project management, long-term asset management, and maintenance services for the projects.
“This community solar project represents the importance of partnership between industry, the State of Rhode Island, and the local community. It’s exciting to continue the great work with ISM Solar, and we are proud to be the energy partner of choice in Rhode Island,” said Eric Paul, Executive Director of Origination at Nautilus Solar. “Together with our other community solar projects in the State, we are able to provide equitable, affordable access to clean, solar electricity to over 2,500 Rhode Islanders,” added Eric LaMora, Community Solar Director.
Installing community solar projects on capped landfills has proven an effective way to transform typically unused space into a renewable energy source. The project is uniquely built on ClosureTurf®, a patented brownfield closure system designed to withstand supporting 9,000 solar panels attached to a racking system and held down by over 60,000 ballast blocks to protect the landfill cap. Engineered by Watershed Geosynthetics, an environmental solutions company, this innovative material is specifically designed to address and solve soil erosion, slope integrity, gas emission, installation and maintenance cost control, EPA regulation compliance, and longevity of structure and appearance.
“We are honored to be a part of this innovative and industry-changing project. Seeing our closure and solar integration technologies become a reality and play a role in turning a liability into a green energy asset for the community is very exciting.” said Mike Ayers, CEO of Watershed Geo. “Our technologies coupled with ISM Solar’s development capabilities is a great partnership and an example of execution in creating beneficial reuse of land on a typically unusable space. As more significance is placed on environmental values and goals, these types of projects will become critical to communities at large.”
The developers partner closely with communities to produce local tax revenue, bring new job opportunities, and deliver energy savings to Rhode Islanders. In fact, the Cranston community solar project provides a direct benefit to the local Rhode Island economy through the creation of over 7,000 hours and 124 worker-days of construction jobs, in addition to supporting 20-25 full-time positions for ongoing electrical and site vegetation management crews. Plus, community solar represents the democratization of solar energy. Nautilus’s community solar projects will provide the environmental equivalent to the carbon replacement of 3,830 acres of US forests and the annual carbon produced from 680 cars.
“It has been a pleasure working with the City of Cranston, National Grid, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Office of Energy Resources, and the Capuano Family (landowner) to create this important green energy resource,” said Greg Lucini, CEO of ISM Solar. “In addition, this project was awarded a Rhode Island Commerce Renewable Energy Fund (REF) Brownfield Grant which helped provide necessary development capital.”
Subscriptions to Nautilus community solar projects in Rhode Island are now available to eligible customers through Arcadia Power. https://www.arcadia.com/lp9-ri-partner/?promo=nautilus
About Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC
Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC is a leading owner-operator of solar projects serving the community solar market and corporate customers throughout the United States. A pioneer in solar energy since 2006, Nautilus is committed to creating a clean, sustainable future by offering an equitable and affordable renewable energy choice. Through its Community Solar initiative, Nautilus is making solar energy available to a broader marketplace, including low-to-moderate income (LMI) households and unrated businesses that wish to reduce their carbon footprint and utility bills.
Nautilus is wholly owned by Power Sustainable, a global multi-platform alternative asset manager with a long-term investment approach focused on sustainable strategies. Nautilus owns solar projects throughout their entire lifecycle enabling Nautilus, along with entrusted local partners, to fulfill its promise of creating a better world by powering communities with clean energy for the long term. For more information on Nautilus Solar Energy visit https://nautilussolar.com/.
About ISM Solar, LLC
ISM Solar builds solar farms that deliver clean energy savings to communities, public users, and private users throughout the country. Its mission is to repurpose underutilized and compromised space, including landfills, brownfields, and gravel pits, in pursuit of a sustainable energy economy. Follow ISM Solar on LinkedIn and Twitter and visit www.ismsolardev.com.
About Watershed Geo
Headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, Watershed Geo develops intellectual property and provides technical solutions for ongoing problematic environmental and renewable energy infrastructure. Watershed’s products solve long-plaguing issues in industries such as geotechnical engineering, waste management, erosion control, and renewable energy. Watershed’s branded technologies include ClosureTurf® for municipal, industrial and coal combustion residual landfill/impoundment final closures. HydroTurf® advanced revetment technology for high hydraulic shear protections. VersaCap® for intermediate landfill odor prevention, emission control and leachate reduction. Watershed Solar LLC develops and owns solar technology for use on Watershed Geo engineered geosynthetic turf systems for MSW, industrial and utilities markets. For more information, visit www.watershedgeo.com