Groundbreaking solar farm at Mt. Tom Power Plant

The groundbreaking for this new solar farm will be happening at the base of Mount Tom on Thursday.

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – For decades the Mount Tom Power Plant was a coal burning power plant until it closed in 2014. There was a study to find a use for the plant which was funded by the state and it’s found a way to re-purpose the old Mount Tom Power Plant: solar panels will sit on 20 acres of the original 128 acre site.

It a project that’s been years in the making. The Charlestown-based company ENGIE North America plans to install 17,000 solar panels, providing power for nearly a thousand Holyoke Gas and Electric Company customers.

ENGIE’S communications manager Carol Churchill said she’s excited about the clean energy benefiting Holyoke homes and businesses. “The sunshine comes down on these solar panels, the solar panels convert energy from DC to AC and the AC goes to the residents in Holyoke.”

This adds to the efforts of Holyoke to be a green city. Recently, it was recognized as one of the state’s top renewable energy leaders by Environment Massachusetts as one of seven communities highlighted for their efforts to reduce energy consumption and increase clean energy use.