Solar energy savings at Greenfield buildings to provide boost to Community Action

  • Community Action Pioneer Valley’s Youth Programs staff celebrate the installation of solar panels at their building on Federal Street in Greenfield. Contributed photo

  • From left, Co-op Power Director of Energy Services Mark Skinder, Community Action Pioneer Valley Executive Director Clare Higgins and Harmon Personnel Services Director Suzane Warsaw celebrate the installation of solar panels at the Harmon Personnel Services building on Deerfield Street in Greenfield.

Staff Report
Published: 3/30/2020 2:13:32 PM

GREENFIELD — Thanks to newly installed solar arrays on two of its Greenfield buildings, Community Action Pioneer Valley is not only saving money that will be reinvested into its programming, but it’s also supporting clean energy and the local economy.

Co-op Power, a consumer-owned sustainable energy cooperative, provided project management and fundraising, while PV Squared, a Greenfield-based worker-owned cooperative, provided design and installation, according to a press release from Co-op Power’s Director of Energy Services Mark Skinder. Community Action, the area’s largest social services agency with more than 40 programs in Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden and Berkshire counties, purchased the systems.

The solar arrays, located at the Youth Programs building on Federal Street and the Harmon Personnel Services building on Deerfield Street, will offset the electric bill for each location, saving Community Action approximately $144,671 over 15 years. According to the release, after 15 years, they will continue to produce green electricity at no cost. The Youth Programs building received a 22 kilowatt array, and the Harmon Personnel Services building now has a 27 kilowatt array.

Community Action Youth Programs houses youth leadership development, LGBTQ and diversity support and advocacy, workforce development initiatives including paid internships, job readiness training and one-on-one case management.

Harmon Personnel Services connects unemployed individuals with temporary and temp-to-hire employment opportunities through placements at 34 local employers. The release states that Harmon also offers free job readiness and interview training and provides employment support to adults who have experienced addiction and incarceration through the Second Chance program.


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