WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – With the ceremonial flipping of a switch, western Massachusetts’ newest solar farm was brought into full operation Thursday morning. Former Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II joined Westfield Mayor Daniel Knapik for the ceremony at the new 2.5 megawatt solar array, located at the former Twiss Street landfill.
The new solar array was built in partnership with Kennedy’s Citizens Energy group, a nonprofit which is perhaps best known for providing heating assistance to needy families. The power from the facility is being sold to Westfield Gas & Electric for its thousands of customers in the city.
“Our projections are that very soon into the future, the power here generated will be at a cheaper per kilowatt hour than on the open market that we would pay normally be charged by the Westfield Gas and Electric, so we’ll have saving over the long time for the utilities for the Westfield city buildings and school buildings,” Knapik said.
The mayor said that that in addition to the clean energy benefits, it will provide the city with lease revenues and payments in lieu of taxes. Citizens Energy will now be responsible for maintaining a cap on the former landfill.
Though the ceremony was held Thursday, the 2.5 megawatt solar array has actually been in operation since January.