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(NECN: Melissa Toupin, Rutland, MA) - Treasure Valley Scout Reservation in Rutland will soon be turning on the switch and generating electricity.
The camp announced Friday a plan to build a 25 acre solar array, the largest in Massachusetts.
“This is an outstanding opportunity for the scouts,” said Jay Garee, scout executive.
Garee said the project will provide clean energy, support scout rank requirements and establish an additional source of revenue to the reservation.
By going green, Garee estimated the camp will save nearly $20 thousand a year on energy bills.
Senator Stephen Brewer was on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony and said it's a win-win situation.
“This is a win for rate payers, treasure valley and the people of Massachusetts,” said Brewer.
The project will involve installing more than 20,000 solar panels like this one. Once complete it will generate enough electricity to power 900 homes.
The 20 million dollar project will be built, owned and operated by Nexamp, a leading solar independent power producer.
Richard Sullivan, secretary of energy and environmental affairs for the state, said projects like this one are not only good for the environment but also for the economy.
He said Massachusetts spends 22 million dollars a year on energy and most of that leaves the state.
“By investing in clean energy we allow Massachusetts to recapture that economic opportunity,” said Sullivan.
Senator Brewer hopes this project is a sign of more things to come.
“We are the best clean energy state in the US,” Brewer said, “and I expect more great things.”
The project is expected to break ground in the spring of 2012 and be up and running this time next year.