Recovery Act Impact: Solar Industry in MA
This is in evidence in the town of Milton which received $221,000 in stimulus funds through the state energy program and $150,000 in stimulus funds through an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block grant. The funding enabled the town to install three solar projects: a 28.3 Kilowatt solar array on Milton Town Hall: a 2 Kilowatt solar array on Milton High School; and, a 66.8 Kilowatt solar array on Collicut Elementary School.
But the Collicut Elementary School and the Milton High school's system - which is very small rendering its cost savings minimal - have an educational component that will likely impact the next generation's attitude towards solar energy. The solar arrays there can be accessed through classroom computers enabling the teachers to demonstrate to the students, in real time, exactly how the solar panels are functioning, what the cost savings are and even how the weather is impacting the array.
For Kevin Mearn, Milton's Town Administrator, the solar projects are part of the town's focus on going green. "We're moving forward with green initiatives and part of that is for Milton to really look at how we use energy and how we can save it," said Mearn. "Solar is one of those areas which is a win for everyone. It reduces our energy costs and our reliability on fossil fuels. Without the stimulus grants, we wouldn't be as far along as we are in this area."