By Andrew Sylvia
With summer now a memory, most local gardeners are taking in their last crop of the season with one significant exception: an exception that could save money on utility bills.
Claude Colp of Solar Design Associates is looking for customers in Northborough and other National Grid towns along 495 for his new project: the Harvard Solar Garden.
Located nearby in Harvard, the project is especially geared toward those who were unable to participate in solar initiatives such as the recent Solarize Massachusetts project, but is open to all National Grid customers in “Load Zone 3”, which extends from North Andover in the east to the New York border.
Much like a community supported agriculture program, the Harvard Solar Garden works as sort of a community supported power plant. Customers buy “shares” of electricity, with that money used to purchase and maintain equipment, with the customers later getting the power back directly through specialized rates in their electricity bill.
Currently Colp believes that customers will be able to get energy at as low as 14.5 cents per kilowatt hour, or about half a penny below average 2013 residential rates according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
“We’re guaranteeing the best possible production in the geographic area,” said Colpe. “It is really the only one of its kind in the state right now.”
More information is available on the Harvard Solar Garden website.