On Monday, December 2nd, State Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan announced the 15 communities that will participate in the second round of the 2013 Solarize Massachusetts program, a grassroots solar energy marketing, education and group-buying initiative sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, (Mass CEC) and the Green Communities Division of the Department of Energy Resources (DOER). Amherst’s application was submitted by the Town’s Sustainability Coordinator, Stephanie Ciccarello and was chosen as one of the 15 participants.
“Amherst is an ideal partner for this effort”, said Town Manager John Musante. “Many of our residents and small business owners are committed to sustainability and this program allows them the opportunity to further that commitment by having the opportunity to install solar at a more affordable rate”.
Representatives of the selected communities, state and local officials gathered at Atkins Farms for the announcement. Atkins was chosen by the state as the ideal location for the ceremony given its prominent solar array and commitment to supporting local agriculture and sustainable practices. Select Board Chair, Stephanie O’Keefe spoke on the Town’s behalf. Amherst’s Solar Coach, Dr. Jeannette Tokarz, stated her eagerness to “get started”.
Amherst’s Solarize efforts will be spearheaded by a team of residents who responded to an outreach campaign by Ms. Ciccarello. Members of the team include Anne Perkins, Carol Lewis, Susan Lowenstein, Sigurd Nilsen, Peggy Matthews-Nilsen and Nat Larson. The team will be led by Solar Coach Dr. Jeannette Tokarz.
Information about the program including installation rates will be available sometime in January. “Everything is not in place quite yet”, said Ciccarello. “There is work for the Solar Team to do before the official launch of the program. In the meantime, residents interested in participating should schedule a FREE home energy assessment by going to the link below or by calling 1-(866)-527-7283 as it is a requirement to participate”.
For more information, please contact either Jeannette Tokarz at email@example.com; (413) 530-0235 or Stephanie Ciccarello at firstname.lastname@example.org; (413) 259-3149.