CITY UNVEILES ITS FIRST SOLAR-POWERED LIGHTING SYSTEM
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.