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MetroWest towns and cities team up to offer clean energy technology

Construction crews in the summer of 2019 at work installing purlins for a solar panel project planned for Natick High School.

Four MetroWest communities have teamed up in an effort to offer residents a better deal on clean energy technology.

Known as the Metro-West 2021 Regional Solar and Clean Energy Challenge, officials from Framingham, Ashland, Natick and Holliston have sent out a request for proposal (RFP) for installers of solar panels and air source and ground source heat pumps.  

The goal is to provide MetroWest residents and small businesses an opportunity to invest in such technologies at the same competitive base price. 

“This program is similar to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Solarize Massachusetts Plus, and HeatSmart Massachusetts programs,”  reads a portion of the RFP.  

The municipalities hope to be able to announce their chosen installer by the end of next month. At that point, a customer sign-up period will begin and run until March 2022.   

Ashland officials spearheaded the project.

Frank Nakashian, Ashland’s sustainability coordinator, said the communities had already been collaborating on some other projects with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.