By October, Dedham was supposed to have been home to one of the state’s largest solar arrays, but the success of solar power in the state means the project will have to wait.
Construction will not likely begin until spring of 2014, according to Michael A. Donaghy, manager of energy efficiency at the Masschusetts Department of Transportation.
“I had hoped to say construction was going to begin in the next four weeks, but a significant change has delayed it,” Donaghy said at a Dedham selectmen's meeting Thursday.
In 2012, Donaghy came before selectmen to tell them that the MBTA planned to locate a 2.4-megawatt solar array at Readville Yard 5, a formerly contaminated property in Dedham.
However, a state program offering incentives for solar projects maxed out this past May, meaning the MBTA will have to wait until the program is expanded.
The original program, called the Solar Carve-Out Program, offers the incentives for solar projects until they reach a total of 400 megawatts statewide.
Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources officials are currently looking into expanding the program to 1,600 megawatts, and held stakeholder meetings about the issue in June.
“It’s a shame because this is good and clean and it’s stopping because someone put a cap on it,” Selectman Carmen Dello Iacono said Thursday.
Donaghy said he hoped that shovels would be in the ground on the array by April 2014. He added that the MBTA was contractually obligated to move forward with the project.
Gehrlicher Solar America Corp. was hired to design, install, and maintain the photovoltaic system after a bidding process concluded in September 2012.
The MBTA is the largest consumer of electricity in Massachusetts, and the array would save the organization $70,000 annually on electricity, according to Donaghy.
This is not the only negative result of the immense popularity of solar in Massachusetts. The Globe reported in January that renewable energy certificates fell in value in the marketplace.