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    Gravel pit transformed into solar field

    There’s a new solar farm in town. It’s located off Raffaele Road, and covers 26 acres of what was once a sand and gravel pit. The newly-completed 5.67-megawatt project features 18,000 ground-mounted solar panels that are producing electricity for the city of New Bedford. “It’s big,” said John DeVillars, managing partner of BlueWave Capital LLC, the Boston company that developed the project (and recently sold it to SunEdison). DeVillars said the solar farm is “important for a couple of reasons. One, it’s providing significant cost savings to the city of New Bedford. . . . It’s also beneficial to Plymouth directly as well, in terms of the property tax payments that will be paid over the life of the contract.” Construction began in October 2013 and the solar farm started operating this June. It is expected to generate more than 7 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, which is enough energy to power 700 homes for a year.