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Pittsfield Office
112 Elm Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
tel: (413) 445-4556
fax: (413) 448-6054

Energy Efficiency Services
112 Elm Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
tel: (413) 448-2234
fax: (413) 443-8123

Northampton Office
320 Riverside Drive - 1A
Florence, MA 01062
tel: (413) 586-7350
fax: (413) 586-7351

EcoBuilding Bargains
Recycled stuff
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83 Warwick Street
Springfield, MA 01105
tel:  (413) 788-6900

Renewable Energy

Support renewable energy

Learn about financial incentives

Find a solar installer
(NESEA Green Pages)

Clean Energy Choice matching funds program projects ends

Support our Clean Energy Businesses!

Solar on schools and farms

Learn more about renewable technologies

Advantages and disadvantages of photovoltaics

See also:

Types of Solar Electric Systems
Solar Energy Case Studies
Financial Incentives
Calculating Costs


  • Electricity produced by solar cells is clean and silent. Because they do not use fuel other than sunshine, PV systems do not release any harmful air or water pollution into the environment, deplete natural resources, or endanger animal or human health.
  • Photovoltaic systems are quiet and visually unobtrusive.
  • Small-scale solar plants can take advantage of unused space on rooftops of existing buildings.
  • PV cells were originally developed for use in space, where repair is extremely expensive, if not impossible. PV still powers nearly every satellite circling the earth because it operates reliably for long periods of time with virtually no maintenance.
  • Solar energy is a locally available renewable resource. It does not need to be imported from other regions of the country or across the world. This reduces environmental impacts associated with transportation and also reduces our dependence on imported oil. And, unlike fuels that are mined and harvested, when we use solar energy to produce electricity we do not deplete or alter the resource.
  • A PV system can be constructed to any size based on energy requirements. Furthermore, the owner of a PV system can enlarge or move it if his or her energy needs change. For instance, homeowners can add modules every few years as their energy usage and financial resources grow. Ranchers can use mobile trailer-mounted pumping systems to water cattle as the cattle are rotated to different fields.


  • Some toxic chemicals, like cadmium and arsenic, are used in the PV production process. These environmental impacts are minor and can be easily controlled through recycling and proper disposal.
  • Solar energy is somewhat more expensive to produce than conventional sources of energy due in part to the cost of manufacturing PV devices and in part to the conversion efficiencies of the equipment. As the conversion efficiencies continue to increase and the manufacturing costs continue to come down, PV will become increasingly cost competitive with conventional fuels.
  • Solar power is a variable energy source, with energy production dependent on the sun. Solar facilities may produce no power at all some of the time, which could lead to an energy shortage if too much of a region's power comes from solar power.
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