BlueWave Solar, a Boston-based solar developer and community solar services company, has sold a 4.2 MW agrivoltaic solar project on a wild blueberry farm in Rockport, Maine, to Navisun, a solar power producer that owns and operates distributed and small utility-scale solar projects.
BlueWave has successfully developed over 130MW of solar power in Massachusetts since 2010, specializing in the development of solar and dual-use products in the community. The company is excited to develop the first agrivoltaic dual-use project in Maine that combines solar and agriculture by positioning solar panels on top of an existing wild blueberry field. As part of the acquisition, Navisun will own and operate the completed project, construction of which is expected to be completed in June.
“Sustainable solar development is at the heart of all of BlueWave's activities. With this project, however, we wanted to go beyond the traditional definition of dual-use solar to unlock the full potential of agrivoltaics for the agricultural sector, ”said Alan Robertson, Senior Director of Solar Development at BlueWave Solar. “We are very pleased that Navisun and the many partners we work with share our passion to work directly on the land and to recognize the value of the emerging agrivoltaic market.”
The Rockport Project was carried out in collaboration with wild blueberry growers, specialized networks and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and comprises an agricultural research project that examines how wild blueberry cultivation behaves in a solar field. The study will introduce best practices for building and operating solar farms in the agricultural sector and pave the way for wild blueberry growers in Maine. The numerous project innovations include the manufacture of custom devices that are used in the ranks of the solar panels for wild blueberry management. In addition to benefiting the Rockport Project, this BlueWave-funded equipment will potentially enable other difficult-to-cultivate wild blueberry fields in the state to be managed. Dual-use solar energy provides blueberry farmers with an opportunity to diversify incomes and improve yields by creating more favorable growing conditions, which in turn improves the vitality of this important corporate sector for the state.
The agricultural research lot will occupy five acres of the total project area, and the remaining area will be traditional solar communal lot. Navisun says it will run the community solar park that will generate clean energy for the local community and allow residents to save on their electricity bills.