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Situation:

As part of a larger effort to increase solar energy generation in New England, National Grid sought to transform the former brownfield site of a manufactured gas plant (MGP) in Haverhill, Massachusetts into a one-megawatt solar array. BOND was engaged to provide self-performed civil infrastructure, utility, and concrete work for this five-acre renewable energy project. To facilitate the installation of 4,600 solar panels, our crews redistributed 5,000 cubic yards of material; placed 1,500 feet of underground ductbank; drilled 400 concrete piers; and placed 600 cast-in-place concrete ballast foundations. The effort also included equipment pad construction and site restoration services. The completed array is connected to a partially-loaded 13 kV residential feeder that matches solar power with area homes.

Challenges:

  • Work completed in a densely populated residential neighborhood
  • Aggressive fast-track, three-month schedule to minimize disruption
  • Safe disposal of 3,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils

Solutions:

  • Close coordination with National Grid’s Community Relations representatives to develop and enforce noise, dust, safety, and traffic mitigation plans
  • Rigid site-specific safety plan and weekly “Toolbox Talk” meetings to discuss ongoing job safety initiatives
  • Development of a contaminated soils handling plan, including identification of an off-site disposal location

Results:

  • Completed on-time, within an extremely aggressive schedule, with minimal disruption to adjacent neighborhoods
  • Solar arrays stands as the largest “brightfield” project in New England
  • Provided National Grid with increased flexibility in providing energy to area customers
  • Final solar array saves approximately 2,900 pounds of sulfur dioxide, 1,300 pounds of nitrous oxide, and 1.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to the emissions produced in generating electricity for 200 average homes