Monadnock green group plans home solar installation
“We’re moving forward in a new direction and we’re very excited about it,” said Bev Edwards, coordinator for Monadnock Energy Resources Initiative (MERI).
The Monadnock Energy Resources Initiative’s mission is to help people rely less on fossil fuels and reduce their overall carbon footprint, Edwards said. The group accomplishes this through renewable energy installations and low-cost or no-cost weatherization opportunities and training, she said.
Since forming, the group has already held two hot water heating “barn raising” installations.
Edwards credits the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative for inspiring and training MERI members.
Last week, MERI voted to move forward with a much bigger project, installing solar panels that would provide electricity not just for hot water, but for all the electrical needs of the home.
“In seven years it would be paid off and they would have 20-plus years of electricity,” Edwards said. “It’s an awesome deal, if you have $7,000. It’s not for everybody who is struggling on a tight budget.”
Peterborough-based solar installer Greg Blake is providing his services at a discount and master electrician Will Wildes has agreed to train for the project.
MERI members were hesitant in the past to attempt solar PV projects, Edwards said, however at their meeting last week members agreed the price of solar materials is falling and the Fitzwilliam homeowners who requested their help can afford the project.
Edwards said MERI members hope the Fitzwilliam project will be the first of many solar PV installations in the region. MERI also plans to continue to offer the solar hot water barn raisers.