NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - Dan Leary, an Iraq war veteran, is president of Nexamp Inc., a company that specializes in solar installation. Leary founded the company in 2006 and has seen it grow from six employees to 45 and counting. The small company has now reached a significant milestone - it was awarded one of the largest solar contracts in Massachusetts.

Leary served in the military for seven years, reaching the rank of captain in the Army. He says his idea for a clean energy company came in 2005 when he was pursuing his MBA while serving in Iraq.

“For my final project, I wrote a business plan for a clean energy company, and when I came back to Massachusetts I immediately started to build a business here,” he said. “Once we started, we continued to grow.”

Leary and a small team of employees, many his fellow veterans, began working toward a common goal. “One of the most important topics of our generation is national security - all the energy we can produce here is less energy we import from elsewhere.”

Nexamp, along with partner Florence Electric, has been awarded $20 million in Recovery Act funds for a statewide solar installation project. The companies will install 4.1 MW of solar energy at 12 municipal and regional public water and wastewater treatment facilities.

“It will require Nexamp’s design, engineering, and project management services, along with services from numerous partners,” Leary said. The project is expected to be completed by July 2011.

Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles noted, “Wastewater and drinking water facilities are vitally important to Massachusetts but they are also large energy hogs; more energy efficient facilities are very important from a greenhouse gas perspective.

“It will directly create green jobs, not only jobs for the installation of solar panels but also by purchasing solar panels from local companies. There are multiple benefits,” added Bowles.

The project is expected to save Massachusetts $650,000 in energy costs per year.

Publication date: 04/26/2010