2014-2015 — Members of committee helped raise funds for small energy savings projects at Transfer Station and did a winsert workshop. Committee member Bob Michaud continued to monitor the electricity and net metering credits produced at the Warren C project and the savings going toward town building electric accounts. The committee continues to work on projects that involve both town buildings and also ones that educate Orange residents such as the Winsert Making Workshop held in March.
Twelve people participated in a winsert making workshop and also discussed with Kiley Landry from Co-op Power other energy saving measures such as MassSAVE home energy audits.
2014 — In June, 2014 the Warren C solar project with Borrego/First Wind went on line. For over two years members of the Orange Town Energy Committee worked on negotiations concerning this project. Finally during the summer of 2014 Orange will begin receiving net metering credits for town buildings as part of this project. Energy committee members also started to work with Mahar Regional H. S. on projects related to energy use. Chris Paul, a member of the Mahar School Committee, joined the energy committee. Energy Conservation, Inc. (Chris Collins and others) did walk through audits of several municipal buildings in Orange including Mahar, Fisher Hill School, Dexter Park, Water Department, Transfer Station and Waste Water Treatment Plant. It is hoped that some projects recommended by Energy Conservation, Inc. will bring more savings to the town.
2013-2014 — Orange is waiting for Net Metering for town buildings to begin in mid-2014 from the Warren C project with Borrego/First Wind. At this point the capped landfill project is on hold due to a report that needs to come from National Grid. But the town will still benefit from the Net Metering Program sometime in 2014. In early 2014, members of the Orange Town Energy Committee discussed going forward with a Green Communities application in 2014. This work is just beginning. Meanwhile some members of the committee are working on school projects to help save on energy costs.
Winter 2013 — Members of the Orange Town Energy Committee participated in completing negotiations with Borrego Solar. The Board of Selectboard signed off on a contract to have Borrego Solar build a PV System on Orange’s capped landfill. Through the Net Metering Program, the town will be able to save money on electricity for town buildings once the system is on line. Besides working on town projects, committee members are continuing to work on projects to educate the public about climate change and local projects. The committee recently co-sponsored the film, “The Growing Edge” about food and building projects happening in many places around the country.
Fall 2012 — Even though Orange did not apply for Green Community Designation, several projects are in the works to reduce energy use and costs in town buildings. Committee members are continuing to negotiate a contract with Borrego Solar for the building of a photovoltaic system (PV) on the capped landfill. Work projects on the Siemens performance contract is almost complete with Kathy Reinig, Orange Selectboard member, overseeing the final work aspects of this project. Diane Nassif worked with the Orange Housing Authority to help them get energy audits completed on 2 housing complexes. Another member Deborah Kent is working with principals in two elementary schools to monitor electricity usage on various appliances. All these projects should help cut energy use and save money.
Spring 2012 — Community Apple Tree Project: Thirteen people recently participated in a workshop on planting apple trees. David Briand from New Salem led the workshop and helped people plant six apple trees on town owned land behind the Moore-Leland Library in North Orange. In about three years the trees should start to produce apples. It is hoped that the trees will not only produce apples for the community in the future but will also serve as a learning experience for pre-school children from the Head Start program in the building next to the library. This project was sponsored by the Orange Town Energy Committee with a grant from the Garlic and Arts Festival Community grant program. Dianne Salcedo had the idea for a small community apple orchard after watching the “Transition Towns 1” film with others. We are excited about this project and its link to local food.
October 2011 – Garlic and Arts Festival