Natick: Solar canopies mean savings for towns

Wicked Local Natick | By Brian Benson
January 4, 2017

NATICK – While town officials have had success installing solar panels on municipal buildings, officials are now taking advantage of projects that are not on municipal land but are still slated to save the town money.

Selectmen on Tuesday approved 20-year agreements with Omni Navitas related to solar power canopies planned to be installed above parking lots at the West Natick MBTA station and a commercial building at 680 Worcester Road in Framingham.

Through the virtual net metering initiative, a solar developer builds the arrays at no cost to the town. Electricity goes to the grid. Natick pays for electricity the systems generate and receives net metering credits that help the town pay its electricity bills, according to Sustainability Coordinator Jillian Wilson-Martin.

The town anticipates saving about $110,000 per year as a result of the Omni Navitas projects, a memo from Wilson-Martin said.

“It’s a potential for big savings with really no headaches for the town,” Wilson-Martin said.

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