Patriot Place completes new 525-kilowatt solar power system

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via Wicked Local Franklin News RSS by Heather McCarron/STAFF WRITER on 8/5/10

Pat Place solar
Red, white and blue aren't the only colors that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft cares about.

The chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group is also very much into green, and he demonstrated that in a big way with this week's completion of a solar power system that will generate about 525 kilowatts of clean, renewable energy at Patriot Place.

At a ceremony overlooking Gillette Stadium and The Hall at Patriot Place on Monday, Kraft joined executives with Constellation Energy, Evergreen Solar Inc. to highlight the project at Patriot Place, the Kraft Group's shopping, dining and entertainment destination next to the stadium on Rte. 1.

"This is good business and the greening of our environment is important for our children and grandchildren," said Kraft.

The new system is only the latest of the green technologies and practices in place at Patriot Place, which was built using sustainable design practices that include low-emitting construction materials and white roofs to facilitate heat island reduction.

The complex also has an on-site wastewater re-use system that, according to publicity materials, saves millions of gallons of water annually, in addition to solar-powered trash bins that reduce waste volume and energy consumption.

"This project is a cornerstone of Patriot Place's sustainability initiatives and we are proud that its visibility will help promote practical and cost-effective commercial applications of solar power," said Jim Nolan, Sr. VP of Finance, Administration and Operations for Gillette Stadium/Patriot Place.

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said he is impressed with the use of green technology and the installation of the new solar grid at Patriot Place.

"When someone of (Robert Kraft's) stature as a business leader and promoter of economic development shows you that the environmental movement can be not just a chore, but a source of economic strength and growth, I hope others pay attention," said Frank.

Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles noted that, through the leadership of Gov. Deval Patrick and efforts such as those at Patriot Place, the state is on track "for a 20-fold increase in solar power over a four-year period."

"This new 525-kilowatt array at Patriot Place is another chapter in the Commonwealth's solar success story," he said. "I congratulate Patriot Place, Constellation Energy and Evergreen Solar for a project that will have a huge public profile throughout football season and beyond."  

Constellation Energy's Projects & Services group, a subsidiary, began work on installing the photovoltaic array last November.

According to a release from The Kraft Group, the array is already supplying about 30 percent of the power to the shopping center, spanning the rooftops of seven buildings — including The Hall at Patriot Place.

The grid includes 2,556 solar panels from Evergreen Solar that, it is estimated, will generate more than 625,000 kilowatt hours of power each year. According to estimates from Constellation Energy's Projects & Services Group, it will create more than 12 million kilowatt hours of power over 20 years and will prevent more than 8,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere — equivalent to taking more than 1,600 passenger vehicles from the road for a year.

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