Solar farm shines a light on sustainability, growth and renewal

Solar farm shines a light on sustainability, growth and renewal

There’s a well-known saying that goes, “The optimist says the glass is half full. The pessimist says the glass is half empty." Applying that rationale to an abandoned and fire-damaged former paper manufacturing facility located in Holyoke, Massachusetts, the pessimist might call for the structure to be demolished. Our leaders looked at the building, however, and saw nothing but shining opportunity.

Reuse, recycle, rebuild

In its heyday, Holyoke was called the “Paper City” for its abundance of paper mills: 25. For many years in the early 2000s, the once-bustling mills sat vacant along the canal that previously supplied power to them. Fast forward to 2017; the mills were about to go through a renovation, and the city, a revival.

Elected officials and business owners alike came together with a singular goal: to rebuild the downtown. With so much potential and available property, it behooved the city to tap into it. With the help of funding from various levels of government, and the commitment of local utility companies and businesses, including Aegis, a rebirth began.

A bright idea for a bright(er) future

Located adjacent to the former Parsons Paper building, we seized the opportunity to expand our footprint while also adding to our workforce and positively contributing to the local economy. Taking our commitment to sustainability full-circle, we were able to preserve roughly 40,000 square feet of the Parsons building and what’s more—create a solar farm on a portion of the acreage with the electricity generated benefiting tenants of the local housing authority. We’d call that a bright idea…for a bright(er) future.

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