Solar Panels

The man from Solarize Mass came today to talk to us about solar panels.  Northampton has been chosen as one of the towns in Massachusetts to participate in Solarize Mass.IMG_3390

The State provides some grant money and a solar company is selected to do the work.  The idea is to get solar panels on as many roofs in the town as possible.  The company offers a group rate which is reduced as more people sign up.  There is also a way to do a Power Purchase Agreement.  In this case you don’t buy the solar panels, you just let them install them on your roof.   You get reduced rates on electricity and can use what you generate.  You don’t get all the rebates but it is a way for anyone to participate as long they have enough sun on their roof.  We have been talking about getting solar panels for awhile now so this seems like a good time to do it.

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Brookwood Shire has a south facing roof which is good. We should be able to generate most of the electricity we use….maybe all of it. That would be very nice.  As our summers get hotter with climate change, it would be nice to be able to cool the house with solar energy. It would save us money but also be good for the planet.  A win win situation.

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Our neighbors have this beautiful pine tree which shades our roof for part of the day. The man from Solarize Mass thought we would be better off without it. He suggested we talk to our neighbors about it….I hate the thought of taking down a tree.  We would be eligible for more rebates if we had 80% sun on the roof.  And we could generate more electricity.  He thought it would be worth the price of taking down the tree….if our neighbors agreed of course.  I am not sure.  I love trees and hate the thought of losing them.  But I will talk to my neighbors.  If they are interested in solar for themselves it might be worth it.

We will have a better idea in a few weeks.  They will have people come take readings of the sun on our roof.  Even with the pine tree we are close to 80%….they take 6 readings and average them.  We were 79% today. So we shall see.  It will take a few months before they can actually install the panels….probably not until December!  The good news is that means lots of people are participating in the program.  And every little bit helps the planet!

Sustainable energy is a goal for Brookwood Shire.  We got the woodstove last year to enable us to heat with a renewable resource.

IMG_1701                                                                                                                                                              We will coppice some trees this year, harvesting their wood, and letting them grow back.

 Adding solar panels for electricity is another step.  That will enable us to cook, have hot water and cool the house in a sustainable way.

Our modern lifestyle has created many problems for us and for the other inhabitants of this planet.  But we can choose to be mindful of our impact on  the earth….of our footprint.  And try to live gently ……

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…with nature.

About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
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2 Responses to Solar Panels

  1. Where I live there was a great program a couple of years ago to encourage people to install solar panels on their roofs and we did. The plan was a bit too good because it created a boom that the government hadn’t budgeted for so they cut the program. It was a real shame because it shows that people do want to do their bit to help the planet and it only takes a little encouragement to push them over the line.

    Our solar panels made 50% more energy than we used, they have almost paid for themselves in just under 3 years and they haven’t had the slightest impact on how I live my life. I still do my best to not use electricity wastefully so I figure I’m not just reducing my carbon foot print, I’m reducing for others who have yet to see the light.

    And the farm we just moved to has even more solar panels on its roof than our house did – no way will we use all our home made energy. This is really a win win.

    Good luck with getting panels on your roof and your neighbour’s too!

  2. wspines says:

    Patti,
    I am go happy for you about the solar panels. I was hoping something like that would come to Colrain, I loved the pictures of the pesto and the recipe I have been using pine nuts which are so expensive these days I think I will use walnuts in the next batch.
    I love this beautiful weather don’t you?
    Carole

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