September 28, 2015 By Mike Gleason/Daily News Staff
FRANKLIN - The Franklin Solar Challenge has reached another milestone, earning a solar array for a local nonprofit organization.
The challenge, which offers increasing tiers of savings for townspeople who agree to put solar systems on their properties, has been ongoing. It was originally set to end in September, but was extended to Oct. 15 to accommodate higher-than-expected interest.
The program is based on the state Clean Energy Center's Solarize Massachusetts program, which offers increasing discounts as more townspeople sign up for solar panels. The town had reached tier 5 - the steepest level of savings, earlier in the summer, but an additional threshold was established with Ashland firm SolarFlair Energy, the company administering the program. If Franklin met the 400-kilowatt goal for the new tier, SolarFlair would donate a solar array to the town.
Town Councilor Brett Feldman, who coordinates the project, said Franklin has done just that, totaling 411 kilowatts through 52 projects already contracted. Feldman said he was happy to see the town meet the goal, and looked forward to the program's continuing success.
"We got a great response as the initial deadline approached, and we should get several more projects signed up before the new deadline," he said.
The array, said Feldman, will be given to a local nonprofit organization.
"We (the town community) have to decide which local facility/organization will get the donated array," he said. "I am open to public input (about that)."
The program is continuing, offering systems for approximately $3.02 per watt, through the mid-October deadline. Those interested in finding out more about the challenge may call (508) 808-4556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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