Greenfield is a hotbed of sustainable action, including its designation as a Green Community, numerous residential and commercial-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, and more recently a great deal of solar thermal activity.
As manager of MassCEC’s Commonwealth Solar Hot Water program, I recently spoke to a resident and homeowner in Greenfield, Spartan Giordano, who has found a way to take advantage of the area’s increased interest in solar.
He became a volunteer with Co-Op Power, a consumer-owned renewable energy cooperative, where he helped install six solar thermal systems. He was then hired by Co-op Power to direct the 2009 Sustainable Energy Summit. After participating in Greenfield Community College’s (GCC) Renewable Energy Program, under a Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund grant administered by Commonwealth Corporation, Spartan completed classes on solar thermal systems, passive solar and green building design.
Armed with experience and a supreme solar thermal skill set, Spartan embarked on a personal project: the design of his home. With encouragement from his wife Hannah and his friend Adam, he purchased land in Greenfield to build their own passive solar, super-insulated house! Spartan attributes much of his design and construction knowledge to the Renewable Energy Program. Not only were the GCC professors always available to help with design, but many of Spartan’s classmates lent a hand with construction. After two years, Spartan and Hannah are now living in their new, beautiful home with a fully functioning roof-mounted solar thermal system. You can read a month-by-month account of the building process on their blog, including the installation of the two-collector solar thermal system—funded with a Commonwealth Solar Hot Water rebate—that works in combination with an electric water heater to provide 75% of the family’s domestic water heating needs.
Spartan and Adam are currently installing solar thermal systems for Greenfield-based Sandri Energy, which offers a full array of energy related products and services throughout the Northeast. I’m looking forward to seeing the completion of their latest project, a thirty-two collector solar thermal system at the Pittsfield Boys & Girls Club that was funded through MassCEC’s Low Income Solar Thermal Program.
Solarize Mass – Big Scale Impact for Small Scale Solar posted on Aug 20
The results of the Solarize Mass 2013-2014 two rounds managed to surpass numbers from the previous two years. Close to 1,500 contracts were signed and a total of nearly 10 megawatts of solar installed. During 2013’s first round, ten communities participated, and for the second round that ended this past June, another fifteen communities were chosen.
Carbon Neutral? A Closer Look at University Claims posted on Aug 14
The five UMass university campuses have made enormous progress towards carbon neutrality. In particular, UMass Amherst has demonstrated impressive environmental leadership and received an Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Leading by Example award for achieving a 26 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions three years ahead of its 2012 goal.
Door-to-Door Campaign Reaps Energy Efficiency Gains posted on Aug 1
Greenfield sent program specialists from Energy Smart Homes door-to-door to answer questions, explain the energy auditing process, and plan retrofit projects. So far, home energy assessments in Greenfield have taken place at four times the statewide rate.