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Winchendon turning landfill into solar power plant

The town of Winchendon is building a 2.6 megawatt solar panel array.

Solar power developer SunEdison, Inc. said Wednesday that it would build the solar panels over a 12-acre landfill. The town will save up to $8 million over the life of its 20-year power purchase agreement, SunEdison said, including $400,000 in its first year of operation. The typical solar panel lasts around 20 to 25 years before it degrades significantly.

“This is a great opportunity for Winchendon to take an underutilized piece of land and turn it into a clean, reliable source of energy,” said town manager Jim Kreidler in a statement.

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Currently, Massachusetts has around 797 megawatts of solar projects installed, according to the Department of Energy Resources. The developer said the project would eliminate 1,805 tons of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of taking 380 cars off the road.

After the project is complete, SunEdison will sell the panels to TerraForm Power, an affiliated company. They will be maintained by SunEdison Services.


Jack Newsham can be reached at jack.newsham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.