Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Nation's Largest 'Brightfield' to be Dedicated on Thursday

Lots of news in recent months about remediating brownfields for everything from new buildings to growing crops for biofuels. In Brockton, Massachusetts, tomorrow, local and state officials will be dedicating a new "brightfield," which is a solar array placed on a brownfield (maybe you knew that -- I didn't). According to SCHOTT US' press release,
The Brockton Brightfield is the largest solar energy plant in New England, and the largest brightfield --– an idle remediated "“brownfield" transformed into a solar energy generating station -- in the nation.

The new brightfield establishes Brockton, long known as the City of Champions, as Massachusetts'’ solar energy champion, with the largest installed capacity of photovoltaic solar power of any city in the commonwealth.

One of the ways that the city intends to build upon its solar leadership is by expanding the solar energy power plant to an associated brownfield across the street. Eventually the city plans to increase the Brockton Brightfield'’s capacity to 1 megawatt (MW).

"“The Brockton Brightfield was built thanks to an extraordinary partnership between government agencies, nonprofit organizations and businesses,"” said Mayor [James] Harrington. "“We hope that Brockton'’s success in bringing this project to fruition will inspire other communities across the nation to turn their brownfields into clean solar energy generating brightfields as well."”
Not only does the brightfield produce green electricity and clean up a local eyesore, but the town of Brockton expects to net about $130,000 per year through the sale of green tags. Apparently, Brockton is also turning into quite the solar town: in addition to this installation, the community also is home to Johnson Square Village, the first 100 percent solar condo project in New England. The local high school also has a 2.4 kW solar array. Go, Brockton!

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