For more than 50 years, the Mount Tom Station coal-fired power plant stood on the outskirts of Holyoke, MA, generating energy for the city. It was long blamed for residents' health problems, and by 2009 the plant had lost profitability due to economic trends, which led to its closure in 2014.
Last year marked the start of a new chapter for the power plant, which has been transformed into a solar farm made up of 17,000 solar panels, the largest in Massachusetts. A reuse study funded in part from the state budget found that turning it into a solar farm would be feasible; now known as the Mount Tom Energy Storage System, the facility has a three-megawatt battery storage system.
"This project is the perfect illustration of energy transformation in action — affordable, clean energy replacing traditional fossil fuel power generation," Frank Demaille, president and CEO of ENGIE North America, which partnered with Holyoke Gas & Energy on the project, said in a statement when the storage plan was announced. "Solar energy, optimized by energy storage, is key to a low-carbon, low-cost energy future." (read more)
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