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Solar panel roof fuels industrial Boston building

One of the largest new solar projects in Massachusetts is now churning out power from the roof of a hulking industrial building in Hyde Park.

The Boston/Dedham Commerce Park has installed 3,300 solar panels on the roof of its building, a mixed use office space that is home to companies such as Dancing Deer Baking Co. and the nonprofit Hyde Park Open Studios.

The $4.2 million project is the largest solar roof installation in the city of Boston.

The solar arrays will generate 974 kilowatts of power, enough to provide about two-thirds of the electricity needs of the building’s tenants.

“This development enables multiple tenants to benefit from clean renewable power,” said Mark Sylvia, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, adding that it will reduce the space’s carbon footprint and energy costs.


The project’s developer, Kathleen Doyle of FireFlower Alternative Energy of Boston, said that by displacing fossil fuels, the rooftop plant will avoid the release of some 366 tons of harmful carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

The project is among a number of solar farms that have come online in recent months and rapidly expanded the amount of electricity the state receives from this renewable source. Earlier in May, the amount of solar power installed in Massachusetts hit 250 megawatts, putting the state well ahead of targets set by Governor Deval Patrick.

“We have seen enormous growth in solar panel installation in Massachusetts in the last two years,” Sylvia said — with more than 100 megawatts of that coming in 2012 alone.

Sylvia attributes the increase to legislative actions, such as the Green Communities Act of 2008, a bill pushed by Patrick to lessen the state’s dependence on fossil fuels and encourage the use of clean technologies and renewable energy.

Last month, Boston Scientific Corp. announced that it installed 3,900 solar panels on the roof of its distribution center in Quincy. It will produce enough electricity to power 145 homes over the course of a year.


The Boston/Dedham Commerce Park installation is also the second-biggest solar panel installation in the city behind a National Grid ground project in Dorchester.

Taryn Luna can be reached at