Solar Resource and Infrastructure Assessment for the Town of Blandford

Dwayne Breger, Zara Dowling, River Strong, Alison Bates, Sara Farrar (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


This report is a solar resource and infrastructure assessment for the town of Blandford, Massachusetts. The assessment was funded through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Solar Energy Innovation Network (NREL SEIN) Solar in Rural Communities Program, as part of a project to develop a Community-Informed Proactive Solar Siting and Financing Model. As a first step, the project lead organization, UMass Clean Energy Extension prepared an assessment of existing infrastructure, resources, and potential solar development opportunities in participating municipalities, including Blandford. This assessment was designed to describe relevant bylaws and infrastructure within the town, identify the types of solar facilities that could be developed, and quantify the total space available for each type of facility. In this report, we reviewed existing electricity grid infrastructure, and the potential to interconnect additional solar facilities. At the present time, most distribution lines providing electricity to Blandford are over-saturated with authorized and proposed solar projects, and cannot accommodate additional solar projects to interconnect to the grid. We can expect significant upgrades to these circuits, if any of the in-process projects are to proceed, which might then free up additional capacity for new projects. There is one circuit which serves a section of North Blandford Road that is not over-saturated; for the immediate future, this is the most cost-effective location for new large-scale projects to be sited. Meanwhile, most three-phase lines could likely accommodate additional small-to-medium scale projects (under 200 kW), and most single-phase lines could likely accommodate additional projects under 50 kW in size. This description represents the local grid infrastructure as it is - planning for future scenarios of development could include recommendations for areas of grid infrastructure improvement to allow siting of distributed generation in preferred locations. Future scenarios may also include the addition energy storage and other "non-wires alternatives."
Original languageAmerican English
PublisherNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Number of pages34
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Work performed by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts and Colby College, Waterville, Maine

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-7A40-90075


  • action plan
  • clean energy extension
  • community
  • community planning
  • education
  • financing
  • Massachusetts
  • municipalities
  • outreach
  • ownership
  • PV siting
  • rural
  • siting
  • solar photovoltaics
  • toolkit
  • UMass


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