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Solarize Norwich Update

Staff article

Solarize Norwich is working on its third campaign this year, having had successful efforts in 2012 and 2013. In those two years, 267 kW of solar photovoltaics (PVs) were put up. Now, Solarize Norwich promoters are hoping to see the total raised to 400 kW, which is a reasonable expectation.

The 2014 campaign was launched on February 12, with an informational session for interested town residents. The event was very heavily attended, both by residents and by folks from outside town who were there to find out about the work that was being done. We might suspect they went home to their own communities full of thoughts of doing the same things there.

The new campaign is using the same two Norwich-based companies it had in the past, Norwich Technologies and Solaflect. Each company uses its own highly innovative technology to reduce panel-mounting costs. Norwich Technology’s system reduces costs of roof- or ground-mounted systems. Solaflect’s system also reduces costs, but for pole-mounted tracking mounts. Between the two, any person with a sunny spot on a property is likely to find that Solarize Norwich can offer an ideal system to use.

The event saw members of the Norwich Energy Committee explaining the various aspects of the process of getting solar installed to interested attendees. These included matters of incentives, economics, ecological benefits, and other details. Also, there was a panel of homeowners, veterans of earlier campaigns, who described their experiences and answered questions.

A community solar option was explained for the benefit of those who did not have a good place of their own to install solar. This option would be of use to people who either did not have a site on their own property that was well-suited to solar PVs, as well as those who rent.

The Solarize Norwich program gives Norwich residents an opportunity to cut both their expenses and their carbon footprints. It is an ongoing program and is still taking new residents into the program.

The program also fits in well with the town’s energy plan, which aims at cutting 90% of the town’s carbon emissions by 2050. The other goals of the Norwich Energy Committee include getting 90% of the electricity for the schools and municipality by 2016, as well as introducing district heating and residential hot water from solar.

Those interested in learning more can contact Linda Gray at linda.c.gray@gmail.com.

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