Williamsburg, Chesterfield and Whately to learn about Solarize Mass program

Last modified: Saturday, February 08, 2014
WILLIAMSBURG — The towns of Williamsburg, Chesterfield and Whately will hold an informational meeting on the Solarize Mass program at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the auditorium on the second floor of the Town Offices in Haydenville.

The program “Solar 101” is an introduction and overview of the Solarize Mass program.

“We will have the folks from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center at the meeting to explain exactly how the program works,” said Marci Caplis, the Williamsburg solar coach.

The three towns are among 15 communities recently selected to participate in Solarize Mass, a program that encourages homeowners and small businesses to adopt small-scale solar photovoltaic systems.

Taken separately, none of the individual towns would have been able to qualify for the program, which requires communities to have a minimum of 1,000 owner-occupied homes.

Each town has a solar team to provide solar information to their communities.

According to Caplis, a Whately resident will also be on hand to discuss his own experience with solar photovoltaic systems.

“We want to get the information out to as many people as possible, and get people talking about it,” Caplis said. “We will go to homes, schools, businesses, transfer stations, anywhere, and talk to people face-to-face.”

The Solarize Mass program’s incentive reduces the cost of installing solar power through a group purchasing model. The more owners who sign on for solar panel installation, the more the cost is reduced.

Northampton, Hatfield and Montague are already participating in the Solarize Mass program with a total of 172 contracts signed and 1,032.2 kilowatt hours of capacity.

“We have three great examples right around us of how the program has been put to use,” Caplis said.

The tri-town group must have a contract with a solar installer by June 30.

“If we are lucky, we might be able to announce the installer choice at the meeting,” Caplis said.

Anyone who cannot attend may contact SolarizeWilliamsburg@gmail.com to indicate interest or request a brochure. Further information is available online at www.masscec.com/solarizemass.