BlueWave, a leading Boston-based solar and energy storage developer, today announced milestone project development achievements and corporate contributions from the past year. Continuing its success as a leading solar developer in the New England region, BlueWave has developed and built more than 150 megawatts (MW) of solar as of the end of 2021, the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power 26,000 homes in a year. This year, BlueWave plans for forthcoming solar and standalone energy storage projects across 10 states in the U.S. Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, including plans to develop in the New Jersey and New York markets in 2022.
A key update for BlueWave in 2021 was the spinout of BlueWave's community solar servicing team to its own company, Perch Energy. Perch will build upon its successful community solar services and management platform as an independent company with the same foundational goal to make clean energy more accessible and affordable. This spinout allows BlueWave to focus squarely on growing and executing its development portfolio.
"The negative impacts of climate change became more tangible than ever this past year and we're proud of the work we've contributed to increase the generation of clean energy in our communities and further protect our planet in the process," said Trevor Hardy, CEO and Co-Founder of BlueWave. "We see a bright future for Perch to introduce more people to the benefits of clean energy and we're ready to focus our talent on setting a new standard for responsible solar and energy storage development in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets."
Responsible Development Milestones and Innovations
Building on its legacy as the company that developed the first community solar project in Massachusetts, BlueWave has maintained its innovative spirit to be a leader in sustainable and responsible solar development methods that do right by the land and local communities. Half of BlueWave's solar projects in Massachusetts are now dual-use, meaning they combine solar with land management philosophies rooted in conservation to deliver ecological, agricultural and energy benefits. BlueWave progressed the development of seven dual-use solar projects in 2021.
BlueWave's responsible solar development strategy was recognized by multiple organizations in 2021, with the company receiving awards including Solar Builder's Project of the Year, Real Leaders Impact Award and the silver medalist award in the Energy category of Inc.'s 2021 Best in Business List. BlueWave was also recognized as a finalist for Northeast Clean Energy Council's Partnership of the Year award.
Completion of Agrivoltaic Projects
In October 2021, BlueWave announced the completion of Maine's first agrivoltaic solar project in Rockport, Maine. The 4.2 MW project, now owned by Navisun, combines solar and agriculture by positioning solar panels above an existing wild blueberry farm to reduce carbon emissions by approximately 3,775 metric tons. The project includes an agricultural research plot that will study how wild blueberry cultivation performs within a solar array to propel both the Maine agriculture and solar industries. BlueWave also developed the largest purpose-built dual-use project in the United States and Massachusetts's first agrivoltaic project which will support the growth of both livestock and crops under the solar arrays installed in Grafton. The 3.12 MW project, constructed and owned by AES, comprises 16 acres of solar arrays and includes DC coupled battery storage. BlueWave and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, funded by The United States Department of Energy, will study the impacts of the solar arrays on the soil health and crop production at the farm.
Bringing Floatovoltaics to the Northeast
In July of 2021 BlueWave entered into a joint venture agreement with Ciel et Terre, the world's leading floatovoltaics company, to develop floatovoltaics, or floating solar, projects in Massachusetts and other markets in the Northeast. BlueWave believes that floatovoltaics is an important initiative for the region as developing on man-made ponds and reservoirs solves land use problems that are common in New England and as demonstrated in Europe and Asia, can provide important ecological benefits to the water resources where the system is located.
Expansion to Standalone Energy Storage Development
A crucial step to reach the next generation of renewables, BlueWave grew its presence in the energy storage market with the creation of a dedicated storage-only team. With the mission to make communities' energy profiles more resilient and reliable by expanding the amount of clean energy the grid can hold, the division is focused on standalone energy storage project development in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania with intentions to begin construction on projects in Massachusetts later this year through early 2023.
"The benefits that energy storage can bring to communities are substantial, including local revenue for landowners, expanded consumer choice to opt-in to renewables and robust job growth in the burgeoning cleantech economy. It's an honor to further lead BlueWave into the storage-only sector and be another force in creating cleaner, safer and more sustainable communities," said Shawn Jones, Managing Director of Storage Development for BlueWave.
BlueWave is focused on far more than just clean power, and is a mission-driven company committed to transparency, sustainability, improving the lives of others and establishing an intrinsic link between environmental and social justice.
Passionate about expanding participation and career opportunities in green energy, BlueWave is proud to have partnered with the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), an organization that connects Boston residents with career pathways and provides employers with diverse talent pipelines, and Enroot, a program for immigrant youth to achieve academic, career and personal success, to hire interns to support the BlueWave team this past year.
BlueWave was honored by the Annual Awards in Business Excellence from American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) as the winner of Excellence in Clean Energy Leadership. The award recognizes organizations that showcase exceptional work in the acceleration of a clean energy future in underrepresented and underserved communities.
Furthering its commitment to civic engagement, BlueWave has increased its giveback operations by offering additional community service and chartiable giving engagement opportunities for employees. Further, the company expanded its network of charitable partners supporting efforts in agriculture, food insecurity, homelessness and youth.
"From embarking on new development methods to entering new markets, and most importantly, introducing new future leaders to the green energy industry, this past year encompassed all that BlueWave stands for as a Certified B Corp," said John DeVillars, Chairman and Co-Founder of BlueWave. "We enter 2022 with a reinvigorated purpose to deliver groundbreaking solar and energy storage projects and improve the communities that we interact with."