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Energy forum lays groundwork for 4 towns

It’s called “Forum 201,” but what might seem like an exclusive club will actually be a working session this evening for anyone with an association to Greenfield, Montague, Shelburne or Buckland to map out ways for “a cleaner and more affordable energy future,” say organizers from the Franklin Regional Council of Governments.

Tonight’s forum, from 6 to 8 at Greenfield Community College’s main campus cafeteria, is a follow-up to a Forum 101 last October that identified 25 long-term “needs and challenges” the four towns face, aims to narrow those to come up with the top common priorities for energy conservation and renewable municipal energy projects, according to regional planner Stacy Metzger.

Funded with a grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the state Department of Energy Resources, the Community Energy Strategies Pilot Program helps local officials and volunteers come up with an action plan for implementing the towns’ identified programs using existing state and other programs.

This evening’s session will include presentations by four speakers on solar roofs and the state’s Solarize Massachusetts program, on anaerobic digestion and agricultural methane digesters, and on energy efficiency measures.

The next step for the program will be for development of an action plan for the four communities, including funding possibilities, expected this spring, said Metzger.

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