Cape, Islands Communities Plan Solar Energy Farms

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Seven Cape Cod and the Islands communities are making plans to build solar energy farms that could produce more than a quarter of the energy needed there.

Phillip Guidice, of the state Department of Environmental Protection, says the project will turn capped landfills and other unused public land into solar space.

"There's hundreds of these solar farm-potential sites in these capped landfills, and they could provide hundreds, potentially, of megawatts of solar power, if and when they're all utilized this way," he said.

That power is expected to be enough for more than 3,000 homes.

Maggie Downey, of the Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative, says the project could save nearly $1.5 million in energy costs in the first year.

"This project will equate to approximately 26 percent of the municipal load on the Cape and Vineyard," she said. "So it is making significant headway towards having all the municipal load be served by green, renewable sources."

The $85 million project will be financed by private investors, with no costs to municipalities.

This program aired on April 22, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.