Regional Roundtable Luncheon - Keynote: MA Solar Project Developments - Opportunities & Risks

Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 11:30am

Regional Roundtable Luncheon
District Local Technical Assistance 2017
Keynote: MA Solar Project Developments - Opportunities & Risks

The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) invites municipal leaders of our 43 member municipalities to join us for a keynote item presentation focused on "Municipal Solar Project Development - Opportunities & Risks" at our next Regional Roundtable Luncheon. Kaitlin Kelly, Renewable Energy Program Coordinator of the MA Department of Energy Resources (DOER), will be our keynote speaker presenting on the applicability of the MA SMART Program to municipal solar projects and available technical resources.  Other guests include Ameresco and BlueWave, representing different perspectives from solar project developers.  The City of Northampton will also share their experience and best practices during the development of their recent solar landfill project.  See bios of all presenters below.

The underlying purpose of this event is to allow the space for local leadership to learn best practices and how communities can leverage state resources to support their cause.

Date - Time - Location:

This 'no cost' working luncheon event will take place on Thursday, November 16, 2017, from 11:30am to 2:00pm.  The presentation will begin at 12:00pm at the Administrative Offices of the PVPC located at 60 Congress Street, Springfield, MA in the Large Conference Room - 2nd floor. 


To attend, please be sure to RSVP by November 12, 2017.  To RSVP, contact Mary Mazik, PVPC Administrative Assistant, at 413.781.6045 or email  For additional information of this event, contact Municipal Services Manager Joshua A. Garcia at

Kaitlin Kelly, Renewable Energy Program Coordinator
Department of Energy and Resources (DOER)

Kaitlin Kelly has been with DOER since 2014. As a Renewable Energy Program Coordinator she manages the daily administrative operations of the state’s solar incentives, and has been actively involved in the development of the next incentive program, the SMART program. Prior to working with DOER, she spent a number of years working in the MA State Legislature and for non-profits. She received her B.A. from the University of Connecticut and her M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts.

Jim Walker, PE
Vice President, Solar PV Grid-Tie Projects

Jim Walker is Ameresco’s Vice President of Solar Grid-Tie Projects, responsible for Ameresco's solar photovoltaic grid-tie business. Jim works with our customers to structure Power Purchase Agreements and land lease agreements that consider both the project objectives and best overall value for the client. Jim is regularly involved with meeting tax assessors, Board of Alderman, Board of Selectmen, siting council members, town and city managers, and town finance committee members to find mutually beneficial agreements to site and build solar PV projects. Jim is also responsible for meeting with legislators and regulators to educate policy makers on the benefits of solar PV

Joel Lindsay, PE, CEM
Director, Solar PV Project Development

Joel Lindsay is a Director of Project Development responsible for development and implementation of municipal and commercial scale solar PV projects in New England. Joel has expertise in the development, permitting, design and construction of commercial and utility scale solar PV projects, including conceptual design and development of solar PV project configurations, PPA development and negotiation, environmental permitting, and interconnection. Joel combines solar PV expertise with an extensive background in contaminated site assessment and remediation, and beneficial re-use.

Mark Sylvia
Managing Director External Affairs
BlueWave Solar

Mark Sylvia joined BlueWave as a Managing Director in January 2015 to help the company expand its solar development portfolio nationally and internationally. He has been responsible for Business Development activities and now leads External Affairs for the firm which includes Public Relations, Government/Policy Affairs, Communications, Community Affairs and Corporate Giving/Social Impacts.  Mr. Sylvia participates on the Northeast Clean Energy Council’s Policy Committee and Solar Working Group, is the President of the Solar Energy Business Association of New England (SEBANE) and is a member of the New York Solar Energy Industry Association’s (NYSEIA) Board of Directors.

Mr. Sylvia is a former senior energy official in the Patrick Administration having served as the first Green Communities Division Director as well as Department of Energy Resources Commissioner and most recently as Undersecretary for Energy. He and his team have implemented nation-leading policies, leading to the number-one ranking in energy efficiency four years in a row and surpassing the Governor’s ambitious goal of developing 250 megawatts of solar energy by 2017 four years early. Under Mr. Sylvia’s leadership, DOER launched innovative programs to support energy resiliency, electric vehicle adoption, building labeling, the SREC II solar incentive program and renewable thermal technologies. During his tenure, Mr. Sylvia chaired the Energy Facilities Sighting Board and served on the National Association of State Energy Officials, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center boards. Mr. Sylvia earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from the American University in Washington D.C.

Chris Mason, Energy & Sustainability Officer
City of Northampton

Chris is responsible for implementing projects and initiatives to achieve high levels of energy and resource sustainability, reduce climate change emissions, increase energy literacy, and shift to renewable energy sources in Northampton’s municipal, commercial, and residential sectors. Chris holds a Master’s Degree in Resource Management and Administration, a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, and is trained as an elementary and middle school level teacher. Prior to joining the City, Mr. Mason worked for nine years as the Education Director for the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association.

In his hometown, Chris chairs the Montague Energy Committee, heats most of the family's hot water with solar and produces a bit more electricity than the family uses with a PV array and net-meters the extra to the upstairs’ tenants. Over the last decade, Chris has cut his home's overall energy use by two-thirds by investing in increased levels of air-sealing and insulation, programmable thermostats and efficient appliances and heating equipment. Chris gets to work with a battery-electric vehicle and/or by bicycle.


Continuing, Comprehensive, and Cooperative Planning Process

Average Annual Daily Traffic

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)

Average Daily Traffic

American Farmland Trust

Alternative Fuel Vehicles

American Heritage Rivers Initiative

American International College

Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations

Approval Not Required

American Planning Association

Aquifer Protection District

Air Quality Index

Air Quality Index

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (of 2009)

Automatic Traffic Recorder

Average Vehicle Ridership

Barnes Aquifer Protection Advisory Committee

Business Improvement District

Bicycle Level of Service

Best Management Practice

Bridge Management System

Board of Appeals (or Adjustment)

Board of Health

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990

Commercial Area Revitalization District

Community Action Statement

Central Business District

Cape Cod Commission

Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield

Community Development

Community Development Action Grant

Community Development Block Grant

Centers for Disease Control

Community Development Corporation

Community Development Fund

Community Development Plan

Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation

Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

Community Enterprise Economic Development

Citizen Housing and Planning Association

Community Housing Development Organizations

Capital Improvement Inventory System

Capital Improvements Plan (or Program)

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program

Congestion Management Process

Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission

Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area

Compressed Natural Gas

Carbon Monoxide

Council of Governments

Commonwealth Procurement Access and Solicitation System

Community Preservation Act

Citizen Planner Training Collaborative

Capitol Region Council of Governments

Community Service Block Grant

Combined Sewer Overflow

Department of Conservation and Recreation

Department of Environmental Protection

Division of Employment and Training

Department of Housing and Community Development

Direct Local Technical Assistance

Department of Energy Resources

Department of Revenue

Department of Transportation

Department of Public Works

Developments of Regional Impact

Executive Order

Production of affordable housing across a broad range of incomes 

Economic Assistance Coordinating Council

Economic Development Administration

Economic Development Council

Economic Development District

Economic Development Data and Information System

Economic Development and Industrial Corporation

Environmental Impact Report

Environmental Impact Statement

Environmental Justice

Environmental Notification Form

Economic Opportunity Area

Executive Office of Administration and Finance

Executive Office of Economic Affairs

Executive Office of Elder Affairs

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

Environmental Protection Agency

Environmental Site Assessment

Economic Target Area

Federal Aid

Functional Classification (of roadways)

Federal Housing Administration

Federal Highway Administration - An agency of the United States Department of Transportation that provides financial and technical support to each state for constructing, improving, and preserving America’s highway system.

Federal Highway Administration

Franklin Regional Council of Governments

Federal Transit Administration

Greenhouse Gas

Geographic Information System - A system for capturing, storing, analyzing and managing data and associated attributes which are spatially referenced to the earth.

Geographic Information System

Global Positioning System

Housing Appeal Committee


Holyoke Community College

Housing Development Support Program

Housing Innovation Fund

Home Modification for Individuals with Disabilities Loan

Highway Overlay District

Historic Overlay District

Homeownership Opportunities Program

High Occupancy Vehicle

Housing Preservation Grant

Housing Production Plan

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Invitation for Bid

Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991

Intelligent Transportation Systems

Job Access and Reverse Commute

Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway

Jacob's Ladder Trail

Joint Transportation Committee

Local Board(s) of Health

Limited English Proficiency

Local Housing Authority

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Low Income Housing Tax Credit

Level of Service

Local Option Transportation Tax

Local Pavement Management System

Light Rail Vehicle

Local Technical Assistance

Massachusetts General Laws

Hazardous waste cleanup regulations

Uniform procurement law for local governments


Planning/comprehensive permits

Smart growth zoning and housing production

Smart growth school cost reimbursement

Subdivision control

Expedited permitting

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Massachusetts Geographic Information System

Minority Business Enterprises

Massachusetts Development Finance Agency 

Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act

Massachusetts Geographic Information Council

Massachusetts Historical Commission 

Massachusetts Housing Partnership

Massachusetts Industrial Finance Agency

Municipal Incentive Grant

Massachusetts Municipal Association

Memorandum of Agreement

Massachusetts Office of Business Development

Massachusetts Office on Disability

Memorandum of Understanding

Metropolitan Planning Organization

Metropolitan Planning Organization

Montachusett Regional Planning Commission

Metropolitan Statistical Area

Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices

Martha's Vineyard Commission

Merrimack Valley Planning Commission

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

National Association of Regional Councils

New England Association of Regional Councils

Non-Federal Aid

National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (as amended)

National Highway System

Neighborhood Housing Services program

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Northern Middlesex Council of Governments

Nitrogen Oxide

Nantucket Planning and Economic Development Commission

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System 

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Transportation Safety Board

Old Colony Planning Council

Overall Condition Index (Pavement)

Open Space and Recreation Plan

Pavement Condition Index

Priority Development Fund

Purchase of Development Rights

Peak Hour Traffic (or Trips)

Payment in Lieu of Taxes

[Metropolitan] Planning Funds

Pavement Management System 

Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area

Pavement Management Users Group

Planner on a Disc

Public Participation Process

Planned Unit Residential Development

Pioneer Valley Regional Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund

Pioneer Valley Transit Authority

Quaboag Valley Community Development Corp.

Rental Development Action Loan

Regional Employment Board

Regional Education and Business Alliance

Regional Economic Models, Inc.

Request For Proposal

Request for Qualifications

Request for Response

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Roadway Inventory Files

Revolving Loan Fund

Regional Planning Agency

Regional Pavement Management System

Regional Transit Authority

Regional Technology Corporation

Regional Transportation Plan

Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users

Small Business Administration

Supplier Diversity Office 

State Implementation Plan (for air quality)

Sustainable Knowledge Corridor

Single Occupancy Vehicle

Special Permit

Special Permit Planning

Site Plan Review

Statewide Planning and Research Funds

Single Room Occupancy

Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District

Springfield Technical Community College

Statewide Transportation Improvement Program

Surface Transportation Program

Targeted Brownfields Assessment

Transportation and Community System Preservation [Pilot Program]

Transportation Demand Management

Transfer of Development Rights

Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century

Tax Increment Financing

Transportation Improvement Program

The Literacy Project

Turning Movement Count

Traditional Neighborhood District

Transit Oriented Design (or Development)

Transportation Research Board

Trip Reduction Ordinance

Transportation Systems Management

Urban Growth Boundary

Urban Land Institute

University of Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute

Unified Planning Work Program

Urban Revitalization Development Grant

U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Department of the Interior

U.S. Forest Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Geological Survey

U.S. Public Land Survey

Underground Storage Tanks

Vehicle Miles Traveled

Volatile Organic Compound

Vehicle Occupancy Rate

Ware Adult Learning Center

Weatherization Assistance Program

Women-owned Business Enterprises

Wellhead Protection Area

Western New England University

Water Quality Management Plan

Westfield River Watershed Association

Westfield River Wild & Scenic Advisory Committee

Water Supply Protection [District]

Westfield State University

Zoning Board of Adjustment (or Appeals)