Solar and Storage Combo Drives Decarbonization for new Watertown Life Sciences R&D Complex

April 19, 2024
The 66 Galen development will draw part of its power from 252kW in direct current solar capacity and a 125-kW energy storage system. 66 Galen also is LEED gold-certified and will include EV charging with 15 ports on-site.

Life sciences meets clean energy and sustainable real estate: A new solar and battery storage system is in operation at a new office and laboratory complex in Watertown, Massachusetts..

Renewable and on-site energy developer Catalyze announced the project’s first phase completed at 66 Galen, a purpose-built 224,000 square-foot building jointly owned by Davis and Boston Development Group. The on-site energy also includes electric vehicle charging stations with 15 ports.

The 66 Galen Street site aims for both decarbonizing and energy efficiency goals to meet Watertown’s climate and energy plan calling for 50% solar roof coverage on new and substantially renovated buildings more than 10,000 square feet in footprint.

“We’re thrilled to have this project online,” Catalyze CEO Jared Haines said in a statement. “By prioritizing clean energy amenities, ownership recognizes that sustainability is not only an environmental necessity but also a key factor in attracting businesses and residents to vibrant locations like Watertown.”

The joint venture of real estate-focused Davis and Boston Development Group will draw part of its power from 252kW in direct current solar capacity and a 125-kW energy storage system. 66 Galen is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold-certified with heat resistant exterior materials featuring 100% recyclable terra cotta tiles, LED lighting, a variable-volume air handling system and water conservation infrastructure.

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“66 Galen Street is a premier destination for life science companies, with state-of-the-art lab space and superior amenities, coupled with a strong focus on sustainability and climate-friendly utilities,” Cappy Daume, chief portfolio management officer at Davis, said. “The addition of new clean energy solutions such as solar, battery storage and EV charging are a few of the many important steps we took to differentiate the site from others in the market.”

Boston Development Group and Davis announced the plan to develop the five-acre site in 2021.  With phase one completed, the developers still want to eventually build out more than 450,000 square feet of research and lab space, according to earlier news reports.

The 66 Galen Street site is about a 10-minute drive from downtown Boston and is close to Cambridge, home of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Watertown is known for hosting more than a dozen life science companies including industry leaders such as Novo Nordisk.

Catalyze owns and operates numerous renewable energy assets to provide power for commercial and industrial customers such as Costco, Cathay Bank, Fox Studios, Blackstone and Forever21.

About the Author

Rod Walton, Managing Editor | Managing Editor

For Microgrid Knowledge editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

I’ve spent the last 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. I was an energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World before moving to business-to-business media at PennWell Publishing, which later became Clarion Events, where I covered the electric power industry. I joined Endeavor Business Media in November 2021 to help launch EnergyTech, one of the company’s newest media brands. I joined Microgrid Knowledge in July 2023. 

I earned my Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. My career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World, all in Oklahoma . I have been married to Laura for the past 33-plus years and we have four children and one adorable granddaughter. We want the energy transition to make their lives better in the future. 

Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech are focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.

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