FY2003 OSWER Innovation Pilot Results Fact Sheet
Brockton Brightfields:
Innovative Green Power
The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Solid Waste and
Emergency Response initiated a series of innovative pilot projects
to test ideas and strategies for improved environmental and public
health results. This series of fact sheets highlights the innovative
approaches, results, and environmental and economic benefits from
the pilot projects that may be replicated across various sectors,
industries, communities, and regions.
EPA awarded an Innovation grant to the City of Brockton,
Massachusetts in 2003 to develop a case study
examining the development and financing of long-term
renewable-energy projects on brownfields. This case
study was innovative in demonstrating to green power
developers that it is possible to face the challenge of
securing project financing for long-term contracts using
renewable energy certificates (RECs). A REC represents
the environmental attributes of one MWh (megawatt
hour) of generation. A tradable commodity, RECs can
be bought and sold separately from electricity itself and
represents an additional income stream for the solar
array owners. In the past, RECs were short-term and
the income received was volatile. This project helped to
secure more stable long-term REC contracts.
The Bay State Gas Company owned a manufactured
gas plant, Brockton Gas Works, that operated on 27
acres of land from 1898 to 1963. After its closure, the
site was deemed a brownfield by EPA due to its limited
redevelopment opportunities as a result of contaminants
capped below the surface.
In August 2004, Bay State Gas Company completed
remediation on 27 acres of the brownfield and the 3.7
acre brightfield was completed in August 2006. The term
"brightfields" refers to the conversion of contaminated
sites into usable land by bringing pollution-free solar
energy generation and high-tech solar manufacturing.
In this case, photovoltaic arrays were placed on the site
to produce solar energy. This approximately $3 million
The brightfield was able to secure a 20-year
agreement with Constellation New Energy, a
regional energy company, for the purchase of
RECs and electricity.
The city receives about $145,000 in annual revenue,
paying for the cost to construct the brightfield,
operations and maintenance costs.
project was paid for through state and federal grants, a
municipal bond and proceeds from a land sale of one of
the lots on the property.
The City of Brockton, in partnership with EPA Region 1,
Brockton 21st Century Corporation and XENERGY,
developed an innovative marketing concept to secure
a long-term contract for the RECs generated by the
Brockton Brightfield.
A number of green power aggregators and marketers
expressed interest in purchasing RECs from the solar
Brightfield at a significant premium above and beyond
what could be offered by the local market in return for
compliance with the state's renewable energy targets.
However, many retail electricity suppliers typically indicate
a preference for short-term contracts. While monetizing
the environmental benefits of various projects has been
a long-standing environmental challenge, the innovative
financing and growth concepts proposed by this pilot
sought to provide an incentive to the market to support
long-term contracts for RECs.

The case study found that long-term contracts for RECs
were in demand and the City of Brockton entered into
a 20-year agreement with Constellation New Energy to
sell RECs at a variable rate of $180 per MWh for five
years, and at $180 per MWh for the next 10 years. The
company has also agreed to buy electricity generated
by the facility at a rate of seven cents per KWh for 10
years and at market value for each of the final years of
the contract. The pilot proved that the additional income
received from long-term RECs could provide stable
financing for brightfield opportunities and thus helped
make renewable energy on brownfields a legitimate
approach to redevelopment.
The City of Brockton has been able to generate nearly
$145,000 in annual revenue from the project. Currently,
the revenue goes toward paying off the cost to build and
maintain the brightfield. In 2026, the loan will be paid off
and the city will begin to directly benefit from the sale of
RECs and electricity. Since the brightfield went online
in September 2006, it has generated nearly 2,300 MWh
of renewable energy and avoided 3.8 million pounds of
carbon emissions.
Lead: The City of Brockton, Massachusetts
Sponsor: U.S. EPA Region 1
Other Partners:
•	Bay State Gas
•	Brockton 21st Century Corporation
•	Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust
•	KEMA (Previously XENERGY)
OSWER Innovation Projects:
Brockton Brightfields Data:
EPA's RE-Powering America's Land:
EPA's Green Power Partnership Renewable Energy
Certificates Web Page:
A	United States
Environmental Protection
* m Agency
OSWER Innovation Pilot Results Fact Sheet — January 2011
Brockton Brightfields: Innovative Green Power