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Dan Leary, a U.S. Army veteran, is president of Nexamp Inc., a clean energy company that specializes in solar installation. Dan founded the company in 2006 and has witnessed its impressive growth from six employees to 65 and counting as of July 2010.

The small company recently reached a significant milestone — it was awarded one of the largest solar contracts in Massachusetts. 

Dan 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 M.B.A while serving in Kuwait.

“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 says. "Once we started, we continued to grow.”

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

Nexamp, along with partner Florence Electric, has been awarded $20 million in Recovery Act funds for a statewide solar installation project. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick recently announced that 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,” Dan says. The project is expected to be completed by July 2011, and many of the sites are already under construction.

“Over the past three years, we have built a vibrant solar industry in Massachusetts - quadrupling the number of companies and more than doubling the number of jobs in the solar energy sector," Gov. Patrick says. “These projects continue that success — putting federal stimulus dollars to work installing solar panels that will produce clean, renewable power for municipalities.”

The 12 water facilities ensure locals have a continual supply of clean drinking water that meets Massachusetts quality standards. Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles explains the significance, “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 green house 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,” adds Bowles.

The project will save Massachusetts $650,000 in energy costs per year.

This story was modified on July 13, 2010 to update the number of employees hired at Nexamp and clarify where Dan Leary served during his time in the U.S. Army.