With its coal-fired power plant out of operation, ENGIE North America turned to AECOM to engineer and design a 5.8-megawatt photovoltaic (PV) solar facility adjacent the site in the Mount Tom area of Holyoke, Massachusetts, United States.

The Challenge

Flood risk and snow fall complicated the challenge. A portion of the site is within the 100-year FEMA floodplain along the banks of the Connecticut River.

Solutions and Involvement

All critical electrical equipment had to be elevated six feet off the ground on steel platforms set on pilings. To account for snow, the solar modules required an optimal tilt angle to shed snow and ensure maximum energy production.

In addition, AECOM performed energy model performance estimates using a mix of different solar PV modules and equipment. The final design scenario yielded 7,286 megawatt hours annually of solar energy production, enough electricity to power 1,800 homes for a year.

Achievements and Outcomes

Based on the calculated energy production, the AECOM-designed PV system will reduce more than 3,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually.

Our Work and the SDGs

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been adopted by countries to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. AECOM supports the SDGs. You can read AECOM’s Sustainability Report 2016  to learn more about how our work on clients’ projects, like this one, is helping transform the world.