SSA Landers lot will go solar


The Steamship Authority (SSA) finalized its contract with NextGrid, Inc., for the installation of a solar canopy at the Thomas B. Landers Road parking lot. A recent press release states that the energy project will be a first for the SSA, and is one of the initial steps the SSA is taking in order to decrease its energy consumption.

Per the release, in the effort to secure LEED certification (environmental standards), in addition to the SSA’s goal “to achieve net-zero energy status,” the authority’s shuttle fleet will be welcoming three new electric buses.

“This solar project is a huge step forward for the Steamship Authority’s environmental initiatives,” said SSA general manager Robert Davis in the release. After “several years of analysis and study … we look forward to seeing the project come to fruition.”

The release states that with a total of 18.5 acres, the Thomas B. Landers Road parking lot can hold 1,900 vehicles, making it the largest SSA lot. Because of this, there is more area for a large solar canopy to take in sunlight, with the hopes of substantially reducing grid usage and putting less strain on the surrounding area. The project includes the installation of a 5,900-kilowatt solar canopy, and construction of battery storage for 6,100 kilowatt-hours, from which NextGrid will sell electricity and net metering credits to the SSA.

NextGrid, a U.S.-based commercial solar and storage developer, will be charged with the responsibility of construction, operation, and maintenance of the canopy and the storage, in addition to paying annual leasing fees to the SSA.


  1. I’m all for the solar panels, but why the battery pack ?
    The proposed battery pack will hold the equivalent of 60 fully charged Teslas.
    This array is going to be tied into the grid, so I don’t know why they need to have the battery. The grid is, as in most installations the “battery” back up.
    As has been discussed many times on these pages and other places, acquiring the resources ( like lithium) to manufacture lithium -ion batteries has a highly destructive environmental footprint.
    Batteries should be for mobile devices.
    I certainly hope that the directors here are not planning on driving their electric busses the 10 mile round trip all winter to charge them overnight with a battery when they could plug into the grid at the Palmer lot.

Comments are closed.