Archive

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Nick Golon Featured in New England Real Estate Journal

New England Real Estate Journal’s June 7 issue features an article on solar energy by TFM Civil Department Manager and Principal, Nick Golon. Nick takes a deep dive into utility-scale solar facilities in New England and the challenges they may face in the early stages of development. See the whole article here, or continue reading below.


Harnessing the Power of the Sun with Utility-Scale PV

By Nick Golon

“Solar energy is the only permanent, inexhaustible fuel source for our civilization” – Nikola Tesla

With the words of Nikola Testa fresh in our mind, let us look to the remarkable growth undergone by solar photovoltaic (PV) generation in the last year with 23 Gigawatts (GW) of new solar generating capacity added in 2023, with even more substantial growth anticipated in 2024 with another 37 GW expected to come online based on the latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). These figures represent a 33% and 39% year-over-year increase. To put this in context for the baseball enthusiast this is the equivalent of going from light-hitting Mario Mendoza (known for his .200 batting average), to All-Star Rafael Palmeiro, to Hall of Famer Ty Cobb in the span of three years! These solar generation increases have been driven by many factors including lowered costs, aided by state and federal tax credits and downward pressure on prices due to wider availability of modules, but also the industry’s ability to build bigger, with the term “Utility-Scale” solar power becoming more prevalent. But what is utility-scale solar power, how can it benefit our communities, and what is driving this meteoric growth? Let’s discuss!

Although the exact definition of a “utility-scale” solar facility may vary depending on who you ask, the nature of the answer is typically the same in that it is a large-scale solar generator, 1 megawatt (MW) or greater, that connects directly into the power grid, supplying a utility with energy. Typically, there is a power purchase agreement (PPA) between a developer and the local utility, guaranteeing a market for the developer for a fixed term of time, but we are also now seeing utility-owned utility-scale solar projects, driven in part by utility providers ongoing efforts to support renewable energy initiatives. Although more top of mind, utility-scale solar is not necessarily a new technology, and has been generating reliable, clean electricity for decades. As quoted from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) “Developing utility-scale solar power is thought to be one of the fastest ways to reduce carbon emissions and put the United States on a path to a clean energy future”.

With the intent that utility-scale solar could put us on a path to carbon neutrality, what are the greatest challenges facing utility-scale solar facilities in New Hampshire? Well gentle reader, based on this author’s knowledge, it is location, location, location. In that the scale of these facilities requires approximately six to eight acres of usable land to accommodate 1 MW of generation (including solar equipment, panels, access, and stormwater management), finding a site of this size, and in appropriate proximity to existing utility infrastructure, is a challenge. On par with finding a site that meets these basic criteria are the challenges derived by local land use restrictions, as many municipalities did not contemplate the use of such facilities in the original provisions of their zoning and site plan regulations. Perceived environmental and wildlife impacts associated with land clearing and site preparation operations is also a challenge in the siting of these facilities, although these impacts may be offset with appropriate considerations for stormwater best management practices (BMP’s), the inclusion of appropriate buffers to sensitive receptors, and use of wildlife friendly fencing to accommodate wildlife connectivity.

Although the advancements in battery storage will be a prolific contributor to the advancement of solar science, we can also look in a different direction for innovation, as sometimes the best ideas are found in the most unlikely combination of two competing uses. In this case, agrivoltaics or dual-use solar and agriculture, is the use of land for both agriculture and solar energy generation. As one of the acknowledged drawbacks for solar is the conflict it presents with agricultural production, given they share the commonality of preferred land conditions that are flat and provide abundant sun, the co-location of such uses would provide benefits to both industries. Such facilities do exist in the New England area, with the 4.2-MW Rockport Maces Pond Agrivoltaic project, a dual-use community solar project located on a blueberry farm in Rockport, ME., as well as the ongoing efforts of the University of Massachusetts Amherst through their research team collaborating with approval solar developers and host farmers to implement agrivoltaic operations at site around the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Much like we see co-location of different land uses in a mixed-use land development project, it will be very interesting to see if this symbiotic practice of co-locating solar and agriculture can be successful.

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TFMoran Sponsors Annual Color Blast Run, Held by Bedford PTG.

TFMoran is a proud sponsor of the Bedford PTG‘s annual color blast run held on Sunday, June 2nd. Dylan Cruess, TFMoran’s COO participated in this event with his family, and they all had a great time!

Participants of this event can choose to run or walk. While they go through the course the participants will get covered in colorful chalk. There was music played, and water stations spread throughout the course.  At the very end you can expect to look like a colorful rainbow and reward yourself with a sweet treat from the Frosty Ice Cream truck!

TFMoran loves supporting the Bedford PTG to help raise funds for the PTG’s mission of providing students, staff and families enriching activities in schools and our community.

TFMoran is proud to be a gold level sponsor for this event. As always, we had a BLAST participating!

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TFMoran Announces Dahlberg as Senior Vice President

TFMoran is pleased to announce Michael Dahlberg as Senior Vice President of the company. Mr. Dahlberg joined TFMoran in 2021 as an Assistant Vice President and Survey Department Manager in the Bedford office. Mr. Dahlberg has over 40 years of experience as a licensed Land Surveyor in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont. Additionally, he is a certified Flood Plain Surveyor and New Hampshire Septic System Designer.

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TFMoran Welcomes 4 Summer Interns!

TFMoran is pleased to welcome four summer interns to the Bedford office. We are so excited to welcome Brooke Stoncius, Jackie Gamache, and Tim Purcell to the TFM team!

Brooke Stoncius is working in the Stormwater Engineering Department in the Bedford office. This will be Brooke’s second summer here at TFMoran and we are very excited to welcome her back. Brooke attends Endicott College where she is pursuing her Bachelor of Engineering. Brooke’s internship includes working with the stormwater management department Senior Project Manager, Dan Blais.

Jackie Gamache is working in the Marketing Department in the Bedford office. This will be Jackie’s second summer at TFMoran and we are very excited to welcome her back. Jackie attends the University of Rhode Island where she is pursuing her Bachelor of Communications and Marketing degree. Jackie’s internship consists of assisting the Marketing Coordinator Julia Chartier.

Tim Purcell is joining the Landscape Architecture Department in the Bedford office. Tim is a senior at the University of Rhode Island, expecting his Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture next May. Tim’s internship includes working in the office with our Landscape Architect, Mike Krzeminski.

Max is working in the land surveying department in the Bedford office. Max attends The University of Maine, where he is pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in Surveying Engineering Technology. Max’s internship includes working in the field, shadowing each of our field surveying teams.

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Nick Golon Featured in New Hampshire Business Review’s Ask the Experts: Solar Energy

New Hampshire Business Review’s May 24th issue features a solar energy spotlight, with input from Nick Golon, PE. Read Nick’s insights below.

(Ask the Experts) What to Know When Investing in Solar Energy

Businesses seeking to stabilize the expense of their energy use can look at options for decreasing their needs and find alternative energy solutions. Investments in solar energy can help reduce reliance on a variable energy market and carbon emissions.

Our panel discusses what solar project options are out there, and how to take advantage of available incentives for energy system upgrades and solar power.

Our Expert: Nicholas Golon, PE, Civil Department Manager and Principal, TFMoran

Q: What is a “utility-scale” solar facility, and how is it different from a rooftop solar array?
Although the exact definition may vary depending on who you ask, the nature of the answer is typically the same: it is a large-scale solar generator, 1 megawatt (MW) or greater, that connects directly into the power grid, supplying a utility with energy.
Typically, there is a power purchase agreement between a developer and the local utility, guaranteeing a market for the developer for a fixed term of time, but we are also now seeing utility-owned, utility-scale solar projects, driven in part by utility providers’ ongoing efforts to support renewable energy initiatives.

Q: What are the greatest challenges facing “utility-scale” solar facilities in New Hampshire?
Location, location, locations. In that, the scale these facilities require is approximately 6 to 8 acres of usable land to accommodate 1 MW of generation (including solar equipment, panels, access and stormwater management).
Finding a site of this size, and in appropriate proximity to existing utility infrastructure, is a challenge. One par with finding a site that meets these basic criteria are the challenges derived by local land-use restrictions, as many municipalities did not contemplate the use of such facilities in the provisions of their zoning and site plan regulations.
Perceived environmental and wildlife impacts associated with land clearing and site preparation operations is also a challenge in the siting of these facilities, although these impacts may be offset with appropriate considerations of stormwater management best practices, inclusion of appropriate buffers to sensitive receptors, and use of wildlife-friendly fencing to accommodate wildlife activity.

Q: What future technologies/innovations do we have to look forward to with “utility-scale” solar?
Although the advancements in energy storage will be a prolific contributor to the advancement of solar science, we can also look in a different direction for innovation, as sometimes the best ideas are found in the most unlikely combination of two competing uses.
In this case, agrivoltaics, or dual-use solar and agriculture, is the use of land for both agriculture and solar energy generation. One of the acknowledged drawbacks for solar is the conflict it presents with agricultural production, as they share the commonality of preferred land conditions that are flat and provide abundant sun.
The co-location of such uses would provide benefits to both industries. Such facilities do exist in New England, such as the 4.2 MW Rockport Maces Pond Agrivoltaic project, a dual-use community solar project on a blueberry farm in Rockport, Maine, as well as the ongoing efforts of the University of Massachusetts Amherst through their research team.
The team has been collaborating with private solar developers and host farmers to implement agrivoltaic operations at sites around the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Much like to co-location of different land uses in a mixed-use land development project, it will be very interesting to see if this symbiotic practice of co-locating solar and agriculture can be successful.

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Jones Joins TFMoran

TFMoran is pleased to welcome Allyson Jones as a project engineer in our Bedford Office. Jones’s recent experience includes working for a local Massachusetts firm, with a focus on transportation engineering for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. She graduated from Merrimack College in 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. At TFMoran, Jones will assist the Stormwater Management department with daily tasks including SWPPP preparation and inspections, water quality monitoring, and flocculation treatment systems.

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TFMoran Sponsors City of Manchester Employees Golf Tournament

TFMoran sponsored the City of Manchester‘s Annual Employee Golf Tournament on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the Derryfield Country Club. This year marks the 48th annual tournament, proceeds benefit city employees such as those who educate our children, patrol our streets, fight our fires, plow our snow, provide our water, and create the clean and safe environment that makes Manchester such a desirable city to live and work in.
TFMoran was a gold lunch sponsor for the event.

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TFMoran Receives 2024 Excellence in Structural Engineering Award

The Structural Engineers of New Hampshire (SENH) recently held their 2024 Excellence In Structural Engineering Awards event on May 16th!

Entries were judged on creativity, complexity, innovation, ingenuity, and suitability of the structural design for each of three categories; Building Structures, Bridge & Transportation Structures, and Special Structures.

TFMoran was honored to receive the award in the Building Structures category for the Highrock Church renovation in Arlington, MA.

TFMoran Structural Engineers provided structural design to repurpose a former industrial building into a worship and community center for Highrock Church. Located in Arlington, Mass., The existing building (c. 1900) originally built for manufacturing purposes, was most recently used for auto repair and parts warehousing. The project includes 19,700sf of worship and support spaces. Historic facades at the rear of the building were preserved while replacing the roof structure and retrofitting foundations for a more functional, open worship space. Repairs were also made to the existing concrete structure. A new lobby addition provides accessibility and connection to an adjacent church property.

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Supporting NHBCA in the Art of Healing

The New Hampshire Business Committee for the Arts (NHBCA) is collaborating with NH Hospital to commission an artist to design a mural for their staff breakroom. TFMoran and other local businesses are contributing to help bring “The Art of Healing” to NH Hospital.

The NHBCA has collected donations to create a serene scene that provides hospital staff with an aesthetically pleasing, respite-inspired space. The artwork will promote self-care and well-being for their community of caregivers and support staff who dedicate their lives to the care of some of New Hampshire’s most vulnerable populations.

The NHBCA is looking to do our part (in a modest way) to address the mental health crisis that affects individuals, families, communities and the workplace. These frontline workers are dedicated to serving our fellow citizens and we believe they need to be recognized for the value they bring to not only this segment of the population but to all who live and work in New Hampshire. The arts naturally promote a more humane society and are an essential tool for creating a greater sense of wellbeing for all, whether it is through direct participation in or appreciation of arts and culture.

NH Business Commitee for the Arts

The mural design is inspired by input from the NHH staff who utilize the breakroom. The goal of the project is to imbue the room with a sense of relaxation, rejuvenation, and refreshment.

We envision our New Hampshire Hospital staff breakroom to be a pleasant place where employees gather to share a coffee, have a chat and unwind from the daily stresses of their workload.

Gisela Catano-Mahoney, Nurse Specialist, MEd, RN-BC

Other businesses supporting the project include Northeast Delta Dental, Orr & Reno, Dartmouth Health, Lavallee Brensinger Architects, and Baker, Newman, Noyes.


The finished mural was unveiled on Monday, April 29, 2024.

Artist Karen Munday Lincoln designed and painted the piece with input from the New Hampshire Hospital staff who utilize the break room. The final product is a serene river scene in a mountain landscape.

TFMoran COO Dylan Cruess attended the unveiling.

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TFMoran Sponsors Salem Youth Baseball

TFMoran is proudly sponsoring Salem Youth Baseball for the 2024 season! Opening day was celebrated on Saturday, April 13th. Team TFMoran, Inc. “The Wolves” started their season strong!

Above, Coach Tom Burns’ son shows off the team uniform.

Salem Youth Baseball is the greater Salem community’s source for recreational organized baseball and strives to foster an enjoyable and active program for their families. They provide fundamental baseball education in a positive atmosphere, where the main goals are learning the game and having fun!