Page 6 - BusinessWest May 12, 2021
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   6 MAY 12, 2021
Holyoke G&E Manager Jim Lavelle at the hydroelectric facility at the Hadley Falls Dam.
 Generating Results
Holyoke’s Utility Takes Leadership Role in Green Energy
Holyoke Gas & Electric was recently recognized among a handful of utilities nationwide for its leadership in transforming to a carbon- free energy system. That designation, from the Smart Electric Power Alliance, underscores a green-energy mindset at the municipal utility that is not only earth- friendly, but a powerful force when it comes to economic development in the Paper City.
JBy George O’Brien
im Lavelle acknowledged that Holyoke Gas & Electric (HG&E) has some decided advantages when it comes to clean energy and reducing its carbon footprint.
Take, for example, the hydroelec- tric facility at the Hadley Falls Dam on the Connecticut River, capable of generating
33 megawatts of electricity, as well as some smaller hydro units located throughout the Holyoke canal system that produce another 15 megawatts — clean-power generation that is beyond the means of many utilities, especially municipal operations.
“We’re extremely fortunate that we have this infrastructure at our disposal — 50 megawatts of hydro in our backyard,” said
Lavelle, general manager of HG&E. “It’s a tremendous asset that we try to take full advantage of.”
But HG&E’s commitment to a carbon- free energy system goes well beyond
the hydroelectric facility. Indeed, it also includes early adoption of utility-grade solar power (20 megawatts in all), punc- tuated by the Mount Tom Solar & Energy Storage System. That facility, built near the site of a former fossil-fuel plant, is a large, utility-scale battery and the second such system to be installed in the state, draw- ing power directly from the solar farm,
the largest community solar project in the Commonwealth.
That commitment also includes a diverse power-supply portfolio that includes hydro, solar, nuclear, and wind, as

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