Solar development agreement finalized for Thomas B. Landers Road lot

Posted: April 20, 2022

FALMOUTH (April 20, 2022) – The Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority and NextGrid Inc. have finalized a contract for the installation of a 5,900 kilowatt solar and 6,100 kilowatt-hour battery storage development at the Authority’s Thomas B. Landers Road parking lot. The development is the first such energy project in the Authority’s history.

TBL solar smallAs part of the project, NextGrid will be responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of the energy development and make annual lease payments to the Authority, which range from $415,000 in Year 1 up to $727,705 in Year 20 for an aggregate net present value total of more than $8.9 million. In addition, NextGrid will sell electricity/net metering credits to the Authority worth a net present value of more than $650,000.

“This solar project is a huge step forward for the Steamship Authority’s environmental initiatives,” said Robert B. Davis, general manager of the Steamship Authority. “We are excited to partner with NextGrid and look forward to seeing the project come to fruition after several years of analysis and study.”

The Thomas B. Landers Road parking lot is the Authority’s largest, with the capacity for approximately 1,900 vehicles over 18.5 acres of land in Falmouth. It opened in June 2015 and allowed for the consolidation of several off-site parking lots in the Falmouth area.

NextGrid is a US-based commercial solar and storage developer with an office in Bedford, Massachusetts, and has a portfolio of projects across the United States. The largest project completed in Massachusetts to date is a 4,600 kW installation in Kingston, Massachusetts, located next to the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority’s commuter rail station.

“We are thrilled to work with such an iconic Massachusetts institution on what we expect to become a flagship project in the state,” said Doug Williams, CEO of NextGrid Inc. “Our work with the Authority is a rare instance where everyone wins — the Authority generates more income through dual use of an existing parking lot, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts furthers its renewable energy goals, and NextGrid accelerates the transition to U.S.-owned renewable energy.”

Following a feasibility study in 2020 by Jones Lang LaSalle for the solar development project, the Steamship Authority issued a Request for Proposal in May 2021. Three proposals were received; after a review and evaluation by Authority staff and Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., the Authority Board voted in October 2021 to authorize the award to NextGrid Inc.

Along with this solar development, the Steamship Authority is expecting the delivery of its first three electric buses for its shuttle fleet later in 2022. It is also pursuing energy-efficient upgrades to the landside portion of the Woods Hole Terminal Reconstruction Project in an effort to obtain LEED certification for the project and to achieve net-zero energy status through the use of photovoltaic and geothermal energy systems at the site.

The solar development is expected to be operational in 2024.

Since 1960, the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority has served as the year-round transportation lifeline to the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. The Steamship Authority is the largest ferry service to the islands and offers the most frequent daily departures for passengers, automobiles, groups and trucks. In 2021, over 2.7 million passengers and over 700,000 vehicles were transported to and from the islands. Our U.S. Coast Guard-certified crews are committed to the highest level of safety at sea while our vessels offer comfort and convenience with spacious seating, free Wi-Fi and TV on board.