In 2008, Governor Patrick rolled out a new set of initiatives under the â€œGreen Energy Planâ€ aimed to help establish Massachusetts as one of the leading states in investing in alternative, renewable energy. After reading through his energy goals and proposals, I took it upon myself to use the resources I had at my disposal, as Chief Assessor for the City of Attleboro, to try to come up with a similar type of program nearby. One of my main goals was to make sure we could construct this plant with no expense to the taxpayers.
I wholeheartedly agree with the Governorâ€™s Green Energy Initiative and believe that alternative energy is a sound investment and the future of not only Massachusetts, but the United States as well.
If we can harness the sunâ€™s natural energy and translate it to power across Massachusetts, we are solving a number of problems.
- Reducing our dependence on foreign oils and fossil fuels
- Eliminating harmful effects to our environment
- Creating an opportunity for hundreds of jobs within the area as well as enticing other industries to plant their roots in local communities
- Stabilizing overall utility rates
- Helping to stimulate the local economy by creating a market of government tax incentives
With these benefits in mind, I immediately went to work to find any available areas of land where it would be possible to build such a plant. In January of 2009, we were successful in finding five potential sites. Among those sites, there were two sites that proved to be the best possible areas for constructing the Solar Plant.
However, the potential sites also had to meet certain criteria to be considered:
- There had to be a southerly exposure to the sun
- It had to meet predefined land slope specifications
- The Plant had to pose minimized risks to surrounding wetlands
- There had to be access to the power Grid or suitable for â€œnet meteringâ€
At the build out and start up of this project over $40 million of private funding will be invested, with the creation of over 100 skilled labor jobs.
Upon completion, I envision these two sites to evolve to one of the largest suppliers of Solar Energy on the entire Eastern Seaboard.
And so, as this process continues today, we will have five Major Energy Suppliers travel from around the U.S. and Europe, come to Attleboro offering their services and plans to help us build the Solar Energy Plants.
We are well on our way to a â€œGreener Tomorrowâ€.