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Low-cost solar coming to Greenfield

Evan Dick, 33, of Gill and Aric Savage, 30, of Greenfield wire mounts for solar panel installation at a home on Mountain Road in Greenfield Tuesday. The Pioneer Valley PhotoVoltaics technicians, also known as PV², said they install panels on about two homes a month within Greenfield, but get a lot of business around Amherst and Northampton.
Recorder/Micky Bedell

Evan Dick, 33, of Gill and Aric Savage, 30, of Greenfield wire mounts for solar panel installation at a home on Mountain Road in Greenfield Tuesday. The Pioneer Valley PhotoVoltaics technicians, also known as PV², said they install panels on about two homes a month within Greenfield, but get a lot of business around Amherst and Northampton. Recorder/Micky Bedell

GREENFIELD — Residents and business owners will soon be able to purchase and install low-cost solar systems thanks to a new town program.

The Solar Challenge program is being implemented by the town to increase the installation of small-scale solar panels through a grassroots educational campaign, which will be driven mainly by local volunteers, according to the town’s Planning Department.

Maureen Pollock, the town’s assistant planner and conservation agent, and Eric Twarog, the town’s director of planning and development, said a tiered pricing structure will be created to increase the savings for everyone as more homeowners and business owners sign up.

The town is currently looking for a solar installation company that would offer a five-tiered pricing structure and as more contracts were signed, a larger discount would be offered to each customer.

Homeowners and business owners would either purchase solar systems or enter into a lease or power purchase agreement with the installer.

Under a lease or power purchase agreement, the installer would own, operate and maintain the system, while the homeowner or business owner would agree to purchase the power generated by the system at an agreed-upon rate.

The initiative is part of a larger goal set by the new Sustainable Master Plan to promote the installation of renewable energy systems in Greenfield.

“I’m excited that the Greenfield Solar Challenge program will help residents reduce residential and business energy use and promote installation of renewable energy systems at a more affordable rate,” said Mayor William Martin.

Program organizers will hold a “Solar 101” event on April 9 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Greenfield Community College (Stinchfield Lecture Hall Room N335). The event is free and open to the public.

An overview of the program will be provided and questions will be answered on numerous subjects, including how those who cannot purchase a solar system might also benefit from solar.

For more information, contact Pollock at 413-772-1551 or email her at:

maureenp@greenfield-ma.gov.

Also, visit:

www.greenfield-ma.gov

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