Local Organizations Pioneer Alliance To Advance Renewable Solar Energy|
January 20, 2010
HANCOCK, Mass. – Jan. 20, 2010 – EOS Ventures has announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with seven organizations that allows them to install solar panels with a total installed capacity of 811 kW of energy. The partnership comes as many states, including Massachusetts, advance clean energy legislation for businesses.
The partnership is financed by local renewable energy development and financial services company, EOS Ventures and Berkshire Bank, with grants from the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust Commonwealth Solar initiative. By partnering with Berkshire Bank’s commercial lending, insurance and finance departments, EOS capitalized on an innovative financing option to bundle the projects together, making it financially feasible for the organizations to install clean, renewable energy solar arrays at their sites. The participating organizations have entered into long term Power Purchase Agreements, which require no up-front capital expenditure by the participants. As part of the agreement, EOS owns the solar array, selling the power back to the host site at a low, contracted rate.
It is estimated that the combined solar energy projects, which were placed in service by Dec. 31, 2009, will save approximately 4.3 million lbs of CO2 over 25 years in Massachusetts. This is equal to nearly 200,000 trees planted or 130 cars off the road annually. Participating organizations include:
• Bedard Brothers - Serving Berkshire County for over 50 years, Bedard Brothers sells and services Dodge, Chrysler & JEEP, Honda, Suzuki, Volvo and Chevrolet automobiles.
• Berkshire South Regional Community Center - Berkshire South Regional Community Center is a nonprofit organization open to all with community aid available. Berkshire South includes an aquatics center, fitness room, gymnasium, saunas, rental space and hiking trails and offers a broad range of programs, classes, lectures, and workshops for adults, youth, children, seniors and families.
• Hancock Shaker Village - Hancock Shaker Village includes 20 buildings, 22,000 examples of Shaker furniture, crafts, tools and clothes, as well as heritage farm animals and historic gardens. Tours, demonstrations, lectures, and a variety of activities for children and families are available, as well as a cafe and museum Store.
• Quality Printing Company - Quality Printing Company is a full-service marketing solutions provider offering all aspects of graphic, commercial printing and mailing services to business and industry throughout the Northeast. They are the only tri-certified printer with certifications in FSC, SFI and PEFC.
• Town of West Stockbridge - The town of West Stockbridge is a small community founded in 1774, with a population of approximately 1650 full time Residents. Located in the Southern Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, West Stockbridge has a small, attractive downtown retail center, which serves residents, tourists and adjacent communities.
• Brandeis University - Brandeis is the youngest private research university in the United States and the only nonsectarian university in the nation founded by members of the American Jewish community. It is consistently ranked among the country’s top research institutions. A culturally diverse student body is drawn from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Brandeis is a member of the Association of American Universities, which represents the leading research institutions of higher education in North America.
• Wheeler School - Founded in 1889, Wheeler is a co-educational, independent day school located in the heart of Providence’s historic College Hill neighborhood, adjacent to Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. With nearly 800 students, Wheeler is best known for its extraordinary academic curriculum, breadth and creativity of co-curricular offerings, its cohesive community, and the dynamic, lab-school-like focus on innovation and creativity of its programs. The field house is located in Massachusetts.
“Massachusetts’ future will be based on a clean energy economy,” said Massachusetts Senator Ben Downing who has supported several clean energy-related pieces of legislation this year. “The organizations participating in this venture are leaders in the community as it relates to clean energy. They have shown commitment, creativity and foresight and for that, I commend them.”
The Commonwealth Solar Initiative was created under Governor Deval Patrick in 2007 to help more businesses and homeowners take advantage of clean, renewable energy from the sun. Between January 2008 and December 2009, Commonwealth Solar awarded approximately 1,270 rebates for residential, commercial and municipal projects capable of generating 22.3 MW of electricity - enough to power nearly 3,200 homes in Massachusetts annually. An additional 28 rebate applications for projects worth 1.2 MW are in process, bringing the total solar generation supported by Commonwealth Solar's initial phase to 23.5 MW. In December 2009, the Patrick-Murray Administration unveiled new Commonwealth Solar rebate programs that continue the momentum toward Governor Deval Patrick's goal of 250 MW of solar energy installed by 2017.
“Solar power is a vital part of the state’s clean energy strategy,” said Carter Wall, director of the Trust. “I commend companies, such as EOS Ventures and Berkshire Bank, for taking advantage of this program and helping build the Commonwealth’s clean energy future.”
“This was a new opportunity to make renewable energy affordable to these entities and everyone wins. The organizations are able to advance their commitment to renewable energy and reduce their energy costs at the same time,” said Tyler Fairbank of EOS Ventures.
Along with Berkshire County-based EOS Ventures and Berkshire Bank, Alteris Renewables, a leading renewable energy integrator with an office in West Stockbridge, participated as the installer. Alteris has designed and will maintain the arrays at each site. All of the installations have been completed and, depending on the organization, will generate up to 80 percent of the organization’s energy needs.
Berkshire Bank President and CEO, Michael P. Daly, stated, “We are pleased to be partnering with EOS Ventures to build this unique and innovative financing model which allows smaller projects to be bundled together to benefit from economies of scale. This project is an excellent example of what it means to be America’s Most Exciting BankSM and demonstrates our leadership in financing clean energy solutions to benefit our markets.”
More information about the partnership can be found at www.eos-ventures.com.
EOS Ventures is a renewable energy company focusing on financing and developing solar and wind energy. Located in Hancock, MA, EOS is one of the fastest growing renewable energy companies in the northeast. More information can be found at www.eos-ventures.com.
Berkshire Hills Bancorp is headquartered in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. It has approximately $2.7 billion in assets and is the parent of Berkshire Bank – America’s Most Exciting BankSM. Berkshire provides personal and business banking, insurance, wealth management, and investment services through 46 banking and insurance financial centers in western Massachusetts, northeastern New York, and southern Vermont. Berkshire Bank also offers the added benefit of providing its depositors 100 percent insurance protection, regardless of amount, based on a combination of FDIC insurance and the Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF). For more information, visit www.berkshirebank.com or call 800-773-5601.
Alteris Renewables is the largest design-build renewable energy company in the Northeast, with more than 15 MW installed for over 3,000 customers over the past thirty years and more than a dozen offices across six states. Ranked as one of the top ten fastest growing energy companies in the Inc. 500, Alteris provides turn-key solar electric (photovoltaic or PV), solar thermal, and wind energy solutions for commercial, residential, education, government and institutional clients. The company has industry-leading expertise in engineering, design, project management, performance analysis, project financing and renewable energy credit programs. More information about the company can be found on the website, www.AlterisInc.com.
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