The sun was absent from the gathering, but celebrated nonetheless on Tuesday afternoon as the town of Tisbury dedicated its first solar array beneath overcast skies. The 1.2 megawatt project is located on the town’s capped landfill, tucked away behind the park and ride lot.

The dedication was attended by town representatives from Oak Bluffs and West Tisbury, as well as the Cape and Vineyard Electrical Compact, project contractor American Capital Energy, and ACE financing partner Clean Focus.

The landfill project is part of a 22-megawatt grouping of solar arrays deemed Cape and Vineyard Solar One by CVEC. The portfolio is the largest in New England, and according to CVEC is expected to generate about 45 per cent of the municipal energy load on the Vineyard and Cape Cod.

Landfill project was hampered by initial delays. — Ivy Ashe

Selectman and board chairman Jonathan Snyder thanked those in attendance, singling out Peter Cabana for his efforts to push the town towards alternative energy.

“He’s been the wind behind the sails of this project for a very long time,” Mr. Snyder said.

“You really have to applaud the Island and in particular this project,” Massachusetts state representative Timothy Madden said. Tisbury first began working with CVEC in 2011, when the town signed a contract to build solar arrays at the landfill and at the town compost pile. The compost pile project, part of CVEC’s second round of solar projects, was cancelled earlier this year because of the cost to prepare the site for work.

The landfill project was hampered by initial delays as CVEC worked to set up an interconnectivity agreement with NStar. Groundbreaking was held last November and the panels became operational in July.

“This is definitely not an easy project, to put solar on a landfill,” said Clean Focus president and chief executive officer Stanley Chin, pointing out the concrete blocks supporting each solar panel. In other locations, the panels can be installed with just a spike in the ground. “We’re really proud of these installations.”

Representative Madden echoed the sentiment of pride.

“We are really ahead of the curve here in Massachusetts,” he said. “A lot has been done with these small projects.” The Cape and Solar One group also includes two completed arrays in Edgartown. A solar array in West Tisbury was part of CVEC’s phase two grouping.

According to CVEC president John Checklick, the three American Capital Energy projects on the Vineyard will produce a total of 3.8 megawatts of electricity. The energy produced from Tisbury’s array will be shared between Tisbury, Chilmark, Oak Bluffs, and Dukes County.

“Even though it was a lot of hurdles in the beginning, it’s here, and it’s built to last,” said ACE president Tom Hunton.

Tisbury selectman Tristan Israel thanked Chris Fried, Henry Stephenson, Bill Straw and Kate Wariner for helping the town pursue alternative energy options. Tisbury first began exploring wind energy about fifteen years ago, he said.

“Here we are today,” Mr. Israel said. He added that it was his birthday, and that his wife had already caught a prize-winning bluefish in the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.

“My other birthday present is this ceremony,” Mr. Israel said.