NORTH ANDOVER — One of the largest buildings in the Merrimack Valley now boasts the largest privately owned solar panel array in the state.
The roof of the old Lucent Technologies plant now holds more than 1,000 photovoltaic panels capable of producing enough electricity to power 200 homes on a sunny day.
Dan Leary, president of Nexamp, the North Andover company that installed the panels, credits Orit and Jeff Goldstein, owners of Osgood Landing, for their strong support of and investment in solar power.
"Ozzy Properties has the vision to understand that alternative energy sources are critical to the future success of businesses regionally and nationally," said Leary, whose two-year-old company has become a regional leader in alternative energy solutions.
Ozzy Properties President Orit Goldstein said the installation is beneficial for environmental and financial reasons.
"We are proud to be on the forefront of a growing business-environmental movement and are confident that our efforts will spur other companies to take similar actions," Goldstein said. "The notion that we can do something that is environmentally sound while also achieving a financial benefit is particularly appealing."
Neither Nexamp, nor Ozzy Properties, intended to have the largest, privately owned solar array in the state.
It happened in stages.
In 2007, Nexamp, then a fledgling company with five employees, was hired by Ozzy Properties to install a set of panels on the roof that would be capable of creating 103 kilowatts of power. The Goldsteins liked it so much, Leary said, that they recently had his company install another array capable of creating 67 kilowatts of power.
"Once they saw how great (the first phase) worked, they wanted to do a second system," Leary said.
Ellen Keller, vice president of commercial real estate for Ozzy Properties, said, "We didn't plan to be the biggest. We got an e-mail from Dan telling us we were the biggest."