Sprague Solar Array Chosen to Provide Power to State

September 20, 2013

As Published by NorwichBulletin.com
The Bulletin
Posted Sep 20, 2013 @ 09:03 PM

Sprague, Conn. — An unused parcel of land straddling Lisbon and Sprague owned by Fusion Paperboard that will soon be home to a 20-acre solar array can already count two of Connecticut’s biggest utilities among its customers.

On Friday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced that the Fusion Solar Center, which is being built on land primarily owned by the Fusion Paperboard Co., was one of two clean energy projects chosen to sign long-term contracts with Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating, providing power to both over the next 20 years. It joins Number Nine Wind Farm, a 250-megawatt wind farm in Aroostook County, Maine.

Both facilities are expected to be fully operational by 2016 and contribute to the state’s goal of obtaining 20 percent of its overall electric power from clean energy sources by 2020.

Both contracts require approval from state regulators, and were chosen among 47 proposals, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said.

Ghislain Levesque, chief operating officer at Fusion, said company leaders are glad to be partnering with Charlottesville, Va.-based HelioSage Energy on their solar power venture. HelioSage has signed an option with Fusion Paperboard for use of the acreage. “We have no financial interest in the project itself, but we’re happy to make the land available,” Levesque said. “Our business is 100 percent recyclable paperboard, so we believe in sustainability and green energy.”

State Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, who is Sprague’s first selectman, also welcomed Friday’s news. “It’s great that Connecticut is investing more and more in green technology, and the sooner we can get this project up and running the better,” she said. “When this is done, I look forward to having one of the largest solar installations east of the Mississippi River right here in Lisbon and Sprague.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.