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Solar Energy Is A Big Hit In Hopkinton

Residents and businesses all across town are hopping in to the renewable energy game.

When Andy Boyce, Chairman of the Hopkinton Green Committee, first announced the Solarize Hopkinton program he seemed certain that it would take off in town, and he was right.

What he didn’t predict that the program would be an extended through the end of October so more residents could join in on the savings.

“We were well on track to reach 150kW [Tier 4] before the extension and we now have an opportunity to make it all the way to tier 5 [the lowest pricing level],” Boyce said last week. Tier 4 has since been reached.

Others in town are joining in the solar trend, though not through the Solzarize program.

Hopkinton-based Solect announced work with two different churches in town to install solar panels to reduce the energy costs.

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“Faith Community Church of Hopkinton has recently flipped on the switch for a 160 Kw solar system on the roof of its East Main Street facility, working with Hopkinton’s Solect Energy Development to reduce its energy costs by 50 percent,” Solect said in a release. “Solect also just went live with a 10 kW system on the roof of St. Paul's Church on Wood Street in Hopkinton. It's a much smaller system, but the motivations are the same -- reduced energy costs.”

Commissioner Mark Sylvia from the Department of Energy Resources said the greatest part of being involved in programs to focus on renewable energy is the sense of community it creates.

“The adoption of clean, renewable energy is happening from the ground-up in communities across the state through this grassroots program,” Sylvia said. “Together we are building a network of reliable, home-grown sources of energy and leaving a clean energy future for the next generation.”

Solar energy has been around for many years but started picking up steam recently after the state and federal governments offered tax incentives for residents and businesses that work with renewable energy.

For the churches, which can't benefit from the tax incentives, the feeling of preserving resources and some energy savings were the motivation.

“We’re excited to partner with Solect Energy Development with a solution that will provide us a significant discount on our energy costs while also utilizing green solutions for our needs,” Faith Community Church Lead Pastor Michael Laurence said.

If you are interested in learning more about the Solarize Hopkinton program you can contact Boyce at solarizehopkinton@gmail.com. For those of you with bigger solar needs, or people who cannot benefit from the government’s tax incentives, information from Solect can be found on their website, www.solect.com.

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