Greenfield Solar Challenge Program

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GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Greenfield is working to get  greener by using the sun. 22News found out about a new initiative to help provide lower cost solar energy.

Greenfield is trying to promote renewable energy systems. The city is proposing a program that will help increase solar panels in the community. There is already Solar Way; a neighborhood of 10 2 family homes that are solar powered. And now the city is launching the solar challenge program in hopes of seeing more solar panels around town and making the renewable energy source more affordable.

Greenfield conservation agent Maureen Pollock told 22News it’s about more than money. It’s about being environmentally friendly. “this is actually part of one of the goals in our recently adopted master plan, which is to reduce our carbon footprint and to promote renewable energy to residents and homeowners.”

The solar energy program will be based on a five tiered pricing system. So the more people that sign up the cheaper the prices could be for you. Solar panels and installation are expensive, but the intiative plans to offer options for residents and businesses to enter into lease agreements with the installer.

Some residents told 22news, despite the higher costs, they like the idea of getting power from the sun. Gary Miller said, “I’ve known for a long time that solar energy is the most natural prevalent source that we have and it’s really under used. I’m afraid of it getting exploited, but I’d like to see people be educated on what’s available to them instead of standard electricity.”

There will be a free event open to the public on April 9 at Greenfield Community College for residents and business owners to learn more about switching to a renewable energy source. A designated solar installation company hasn’t been chosen yet, but organizers plan to have a company chosen by the meeting.

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