WWCO Solar Project

Wannacomet Water Company; Wyer’s Valley
1 Milestone Rd., Nantucket, MA 02554

The site is controlled by the Wannacomet Water Company, an enterprise account of the Town of Nantucket. The Town-owned site is the primary location of Wannacomet Water Company operations, including the Wannacomet Water Company office, two pumping stations and three gravel packed production wells.  It is the Water Company’s goal to protect existing groundwater quality and operate water supply assets, while supporting a co-located solar project to offset 100% of the Company’s electricity costs. 

The Wannacomet Water Company’s “Wyer’s Valley” property has been identified as the most viable location to host a public solar farm on the island. Other sites, such as the Nantucket Memorial Airport and Madaket landfill, have been reviewed in detail with each having significant challenges that prohibit the development of clean energy generating facilities in the foreseeable future.

  • At the 2011 Annual Town meeting, the motion pursuant to Annual Town Meeting Article 97: “Long-term Lease Authorization: Wannacomet” was unanimously adopted by voice vote.   This article authorizes the Nantucket Water Commission to enter into a lease of the Wyers Valley property and to execute a power purchase agreement for terms up to 30 years. Public support for municipal solar projects was reaffirmed in 2016 with the unanimous approval of Annual Town Meeting Article 90 “Lease of Town Land for Renewable Energy Projects and Article 91 “PILOT Agreements for Renewable Energy Facilities.” 
  • On August 9, 2019, the Town of Nantucket issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the development of municipal solar projects at a variety of Town facilities and properties, including: the Surfside Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), Nantucket Memorial Airport, DPW, Public Schools, Public Safety Facility, and Wannacomet Water Company properties.
  • On January 31, 2020, SunPower was selected as the winning bidder by an inter-department municipal evaluation committee to develop two municipal projects: a small (grant-funded) roof-mounted system at the Surfside WWTP and a larger ground-mounted array at the Wannacomet Water Company property, located at 1 Milestone Road.  
  • In December, 2020, SunPower and the Town executed agreements to construct the project at 1 Milestone Road.
  • Both solar projects will improve local grid reliability and resiliency, reduce the island’s dependance on imported power from the mainland including from “dirty” power plants located in disadvantaged communities, and will help to mitigate the need for a costly third-undersea-transmission cable by significantly reducing the island’s summer peak load.
  • Once fully operational in July of 2024, the proposed system at 1 Milestone Road is expected to provide more than $277,000 in Annual Revenue to the Town, and will be capable of fully offsetting all electricity expenses at the Wannacomet Water Company. Over the 25-year contract term, the usable savings for the Town is $6.8 million dollars.
  • Over the solar project’s 25-year lifetime, it is expected to produce 122 million kWh in clean energy and will offset 86,411 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, helping to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change and elevated sea levels on the island. 
  • In order to reduce the visual impacts of the project, SunPower has worked closely with the Wannacomet Water Company, HDC and nearby residents to increase the perimeter setbacks to 100ft along Milestone Road, and 65ft along the bike path and Old South Road, with an 85ft and 50ft natural vegetative buffer respectively, to remain and visually screen the project from the public right of way. The HDC approved the project on November 30, 2020, on the condition of a future planting and screening plan.
  • TotalEnergies plans to establish a pollinator habitat within the fenced areas when stabilizing top soils for the purpose of promoting local apiary health.

Contact Us

  1. Mark Willett
    Wannacomet Water Co. Director

    Lauren Sinatra
    Town of Nantucket Energy Coordinator
Solar Projects

Public Presentations

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