[ exact phrase in "" • ~10 sec • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]

LOCATION/TYPE

News Home
Archive
RSS

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links

Alerts

Press Releases

FAQs

Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics

Videos

Allied Groups

School leaders weigh solar project in Lenox  

Credit:  By Clarence Fanto, Berkshire Eagle Staff, www.berkshireeagle.com 31 January 2012 ~~

LENOX – While prospects grow dim for a municipal wind turbine project on Lenox Mountain, a three-pronged solar panel installation to meet the town’s municipal energy needs is shining brightly.

The School Committee is weighing approval of a site behind the middle and high school – one of three locations being fast-tracked for possible construction this summer, pending approval by the Selectmen and voters. The other locations are at the old landfill in Lenox Dale and the nearby wastewater treatment plant.

While the solar panel plans are proceeding, a Lenox committee studying a wind-turbine proposal for Lenox Mountain recently issued a critical assessment of that plan. Chiefly, the panel saw little in terms of the wind power proposal’s financial benefits, and they had environmental concerns.

At its most recent meeting, Lenox School Committee members heard a presentation from Town Manager Gregory Federspiel describing the solar panel site on a hillside above Lenox Memorial Middle and High School between the building and the upper field.

“Think hard about that hillside and whether you want to go forward with this maximum. Or should we just scale it back a bit?” he said.

The major portion of the 20-year solar-panel lease would be at the other two sites, “so in terms of solar production, we can still meet the demands of the municipal uses even if we scale back on the high school,” Federspiel added.

He suggested adjustments in the plan could be considered in case a parking lot expansion might be needed at the school in the future.

“It’s not essential or critical that we have all of the space,” the town manager said.

Ideally, he said, construction of the solar-panel array on the three sites would allow solar-energy production to go on line in the late fall or early winter of this year.

A tall fence would surround the installation at the school, he said. Committee members raised concerns over glare and the visual impact of the array close to the school building. They suggested a “mock-up” of the panels on the site within the next two weeks.

Committee member Don Fitzgerald suggested that since the hill isn’t used for any purpose, “why not utilize it? Will it look unsightly? From my point of view, practicality overrules a postcard picture from a rear classroom window.”

“This is the wave of the future, this is the message we need to be sending as a community and telling our kids,” said committee member Veronica Fenton. “We have the kids learning and coming up with all different ways to be energy efficient and to be better stewards of our community resources, so I’m 100 percent supportive of us trying to do it. We’re just going to need the logistics of how it might happen.”

“If it’s right outside the classroom, I just want to make sure it has to be there. Š It is a beautiful hill,” responded Jeremiah Ames, the newest member of the committee.

Federspiel said town buildings’ electricity bills would be cut in half within two years after the solar panels are activated. Lenox would negotiate a lease with a provider, Broadway Electric of Boston, if the project is approved by Selectmen and then by voters at a special town meeting, perhaps in March.

The project is expected to be reconsidered by the School Committee at the next scheduled meeting on Feb. 6.

Source:  By Clarence Fanto, Berkshire Eagle Staff, www.berkshireeagle.com 31 January 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate

Share:


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook

Share

CONTACT DONATE PRIVACY ABOUT SEARCH
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.
Share

Wind Watch on Facebook

Follow Wind Watch on Twitter