A Berkshire County ski resort is nearing the completion of what it calls the largest community solar project in the Northeast.
Nexamp’s CEO Zaid Ashai says the Fairbank Group, which owns Jiminy, is community-focused.
“When we walked them through the details and said ‘This plant that we’re going to build – half of the off take is going to go to Jiminy Peak, but we’re going to be able to use the other half to give a 15 percent discount net metering credits to 115 residents,’” Ashai recalled. “They said ‘We’re game. Sign us up. How do we do it?’ That’s really leadership. That’s corporate stewardship. They built a great business, but in a sustainable manner.”
Homeowners who signed up to get energy from the solar panels were on hand. Howard Kleinbaum says he could easily save $1,000 a year on electrical costs for his 2,000-square foot home.
“I heat by electric and 15 percent savings will be a big item,” Kleinbaum said. “The summer bills could be $100. But the peak of the winter were $750 for two months in a row. Then $500 and $400. But it adds up, especially when you’re on a fixed income.”
The project is interconnected with National Grid and Eversource. The effort was driven by EOS Ventures, a renewable energy company that is an enterprise of The Fairbank Group. Ashai, Nexamp’s CEO, says this solar project created 43 jobs.
“It not only drives us to fossil free energy sources, it also drives down energy cost longterm,” Ashai said. “Solar is free. Wind is free. It also drives manufacturing, electrician and construction jobs. Jobs that we know have been lost over the last two decades and that’s been really painful for the Northeast.”
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