SolarWorld Heightens Profile in Massachusetts’ Rising Solar Market, with 7 Megawatts in Projects

2-MW Berkshire School system is latest in Bay State to host company’s solar panels

Berkshire School's 2-MW solar system, one of several recent projects in Massachusetts to feature high-performance SolarWorld solar panels, offsets 45 percent of the school's energy consumption. (Photo: Business Wire)

HILLSBORO, Ore.--()--An 8-acre solar installation featuring high-performance solar panels from SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer, will go online this fall at Berkshire School, a private boarding high school in Sheffield, Mass. The 2-megawatt system is the largest solar installation for a private school in New England. It is also the latest of three significant Massachusetts solar projects totaling more than 7 MW to harness SolarWorld technology in the state’s fast-growing solar market.

Berkshire School’s ground-mounted system is composed of 8,332 of SolarWorld’s crystalline silicon solar panels; 8,020 are installed on fixed racking and 312 on a solar-tracking system. The installation was realized by solar developer PowerPlay Solar of Connecticut and turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contractor Spire Corp. of Massachusetts. In addition to generating about 45 percent of the school’s energy needs, the system will also serve as a cutting-edge educational resource for the study of photovoltaics and other renewable-energy technologies.

“Berkshire School has made an impressive investment in the goals and education of sustainability,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas. “The project heads in the direction that Massachusetts officials had in mind when they enacted ambitious solar legislation last year. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Berkshire Mountains, the project is emblematic of the Bay State’s embrace of renewable energy.”

In 2010, Massachusetts, a state burdened with some of the nation’s highest electricity rates, implemented a renewable energy portfolio standard to stimulate solar deployment. The state also created a market for trading solar renewable energy credits, certificates representing the environmental, social and health attributes of electricity generated from solar energy.

Since that time, SolarWorld has supplied Spire Corp. installations for BJ’s Wholesale Club totaling about 1.6 MW. Spread across four of the big-box retailer’s stores, the project included two systems in Leominster and South Attleboro, Mass., totaling 652 kilowatts.

A 4.5-MW system composed of 18,400 SolarWorld panels is under construction in Holyoke, Mass. Constellation Energy (NYSE:CEG) is building the system, which it will own and operate, on two sites near city-owned electrical distribution facilities. Holyoke Gas & Electric will buy all of the solar system’s electrical output under a 20-year power purchase agreement. State officials have cited the installation as a high-merit example of projects springing up across Massachusetts in response to the Bay State’s renewable portfolio standard mandate to install 400 MW of solar power generating capacity by 2020.

A high-resolution, downloadable photo of Berkshire School’s installation is available on our website.

About SolarWorld (

SolarWorld is a worldwide leader in offering brand-name, high-quality silicon crystalline solar-power technology. Its strength is its fully integrated solar production. From silicon as the raw material through wafers, cells and modules all the way to turn-key solar systems of all sizes, the group combines all stages of the solar value chain. The central business activity is selling quality modules into the installation and distribution trades and crystalline wafers to the international solar cell industry. Group headquarters are located in Bonn, Germany. The group´s largest production facilities operate in Freiberg, Germany, and Hillsboro in the U.S. State of Oregon. Sustainability is the basis of the group strategy. Under the name Solar2World, the group supports care projects using off-grid solar-power solutions in developing countries, exemplifying sustainable economic development. Worldwide, SolarWorld employs about 3,300 people. SolarWorld AG has been quoted on the stock exchange since 1999 and today is listed on, among others, the TecDAX and ÖkoDAX as well as in the sustainability index NAI.

About PowerPlay Solar Development (

PowerPlay Solar Development combines leading-edge solar technology with strong knowledge and relationships within the renewable energy sector to offer cost-effective, custom solutions to our project clients. PowerPlay Solar specializes in offering comprehensive services to the education market.

About Spire Corp. ( or

Spire Corp. is a global solar company providing capital equipment and turn-key production lines to manufacture PV modules. Spire Solar Systems, a division of Spire Corp., is a full-service EPC provider of large-scale solar systems to commercial and federal customers. Our mission is simple: to ensure our clients achieve optimal results from their investment in both cost savings and energy production.

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SolarWorld Americas
Devon Cichoski, Media Relations Manager, 805-388-6388
Mobile: 805-377-2905

Release Summary

SolarWorld advances its robust presence in the Massachusetts solar market with three significant projects totaling 7 MW, with the latest, a 2-MW system for Berkshire School, powering up this fall.


SolarWorld Americas
Devon Cichoski, Media Relations Manager, 805-388-6388
Mobile: 805-377-2905