Methuen unveils its first solar array


Mayor Calls It An Important First Step Toward Energy Independence

Methuen Mayor William M. Manzi, III. announced today that the city has put its first solar-power lighting system online. The system is used to light the Arthur M. Hilgendorf memorial and flagpole at the Raymond J. Martin Park on Riverside Drive in West Methuen. Mr. Hilgendorf, who died in 1992, was a member of the US Army who served in World War II and Korea. He was the recipient of the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. The city had wanted to light the monument since it was installed, but it was too costly to run electrical wires underground to the site.

The lighting system was made possible through a grant from the Commonwealth’s Renewable Energy Trust (RET). RET has combined its resources with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) to offer a program that provides free solar-powered lighting systems to Massachusetts cities and towns. The use of solar lighting not only provides visual appeal to a previously unlit space, but it also introduces the community to clean, renewable solar electricity. In addition, the program helps SolarOne, a Massachusetts business that designs and develops these systems, to grow its operations in the Commonwealth. The labor and expertise used to install the unit was provided by the generosity of the members of the regional Local 103 of the IBEW, including electrician Marty Akiens.

Mayor Manzi thanked the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, The Renewable Energy Trust and the IBEW for their work on the project. “Their partnership on this project was invaluable,” Manzi stated. “It is my hope that more solar lighting systems will be constructed in Methuen. This is an important first step toward energy independence.”

Manzi added that this is one in a series of efforts his administration has made to promote green government and energy efficiency. In 2006, he created a committee to advise him on such matters. Early this year, Manzi distributed reusable cloth shopping bags at his annual city clean up event. He also entered the city in the EPA’s Energy Challenge, committing to lower the city’s energy consumption by 10% by the end of his tenure as mayor. He is also sponsoring an Electronics Recycling Event at the city’s transfer station on November 8th from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M.


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4 Responses to Methuen unveils its first solar array

  1. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,
    Congratulations, this is a nice demonstration project.

    When the solar panel industry brings the cost per watt down to a competitive range, they should be included as an intregal part of every new home so it is almost self sufficient. A central power source would still be needed for emergencies.

    Have you done a power audit so you can target energy savings more effectively and monitor savings?

    Keep it up.



  2. Jim says:

    Mayor, a commendable start to clean, renewable energy resources.

    However, analogous to Palin’s speech to solar energy workers yesterday where (completely oblivious to her audience ) she again pronounced her shrill ‘drill baby drill’ mantra, I say, screw solar, and I am instead wondering when and where in Methuen we plan to start drilling so that we can become completely energy independent, and perhaps secede from the union like the AIP…;-)


  3. Jules Gordon says:

    Hey, Jim,
    Let me let you in on a secret; Those solar workers get to work in gas guzzling behemoths. They want to drill baby drill.

    Do you have a solar car? Do you know where I can get one?

    Meanwhile drill baby drill. These gas prices can go up again.

    I have a question for you. What energy source will replace oil in your view?

    While you are at it, vote yes on Prop #1.

    Have a nice week end.



  4. Bill Manzi says:

    we have joined the EPA Energy challenge, and we are benchmarking certain municipal buildings under that program. But we are able to do so much more, and are working regionally to bring quicker results. More to come shortly.



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