The utility has selected a capped landfill site in Springfield, where to mount 17,000 solar panels.
The project, which would be WMECo's second large-scale solar power facility in the New England region, would yield USD 22 million to the region during construction and several hundred thousand dollars in annual property tax revenue to Springfield, the company said.
WMECo expects to get local permit for the Springfield project and start construction in the second quarter of 2011.
The Green Communities Act GCA allows each Massachusetts electric utility to own up to 50 MW of solar capacity, subject to approval by the Department of Public Utilities DPU. WMECo said it was the first to receive DPU clearance and is authorized to install 6 MW of solar.