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The Town of Shelburne will hold a public meeting on Thursday, October 22 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm in the select board meeting room at the Shelburne Town Hall, 51 Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls, to explore how and whether to launch a “Solarize Shelburne” project in 2016. All Shelburne residents and business owners are invited to attend, particularly those interested in installing sun-powered electricity generating systems at their homes or businesses. The meeting is also open to residents of neighboring towns who may wish to join a multi-town bulk purchasing Solarize program.

The meeting will include two brief presentations and time for questions and discussion. Tim Walter, solar coach for the town of Plainfield, will describe the Solarize program developed by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to organize discounted bulk purchase and installation of solar systems. Ashfield, Buckland and Plainfield are currently collaborating on a 3-town Solarize program that has so far enrolled 90 participating households. John Walsh, former energy efficiency program manager for the Western Massachusetts Electric Company (now Eversource) will provide details on installing and operating a typical roof or ground-mounted solar system designed to generate the electricity needed for an average home. He has installed a 2.6 kilowatt system and a 4.4 kilowatt system that he co-owns with another household on the roof of his home in Shelburne Falls.

According to Shelburne Selectman Andrew Baker, “the purpose of the meeting is to see if there is interest among Shelburne residents in creating a group purchasing program for solar systems this coming year. The 30% federal tax credit for solar systems expires at the end of 2016 – that means we have a little over a year to create a Solarize program, choose a solar company to work with and get systems installed. For those interested and able to install your own solar system, now is the time to get going, and a bulk purchase program can lower the cost.” For more information about the public meeting or to join a Solarize Shelburne working group, contact Andrew Baker at (413) 625-8465.

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