News Archive

News Archive

BPVS in the Field
BPVS in the Field
Bright sun and a happy crew – off the roof and cleaned up before it gets way too hot ! Left to Right that is Hunter Phillips, Peter Prange and Crew Chief Matt Cook. Nice work fellows! This array looks like 5 maybe 6 kilowatts (kW) in capacity because its not taking up much room on this garage roof … not so – These are Panasonic High efficiency 330 watt modules. More Power in Less Space . That is a 9.9 kW PV array !  Posted By: cdk . (2017-06-15)  
BPVS selected as authorized Panasonic dealer
BPVS selected as authorized Panasonic dealer
Panasonic Eco Solutions North America has selected BPVS as an Authorized Solar Installer, certified to offer their exclusive HIT® photovoltaic module with a 25-year enhanced workmanship and labor warranty covering solar module power output. The advanced Panasonic solar technology makes HIT® modules among the most efficient and reliable products in the industry. The selection of BPVS recognizes the company for its high-quality installation practices and strong performance history, both of which are strong considerations in qualifying for the enhanced warranty. For the two pioneers in the solar industry, 2017 marks BPVS’ 32nd year in business and Panasonic’s 99th. Posted By:…
May Production
May Production
Do you have solar & noticed low production for the month of May? If so, you aren’t alone- thanks to the cloudy, rainy weather, production averages 80-90 kWh/kW. The usual May average for our customers is around 125 kWh/kW. Thankfully summer is just around the corner! Posted By: BM . (2017-06-01)  
Spring Sustainability Fair this Saturday
Spring Sustainability Fair this Saturday
The first Berkshire Spring Enviro Fair and Expo sponsored by BEAT (Berkshire Environmental Action Team) and Living the Change Berkshires. is happening this Saturday, May 13, 10am to 9pm, at the STATIONERY , a great old paper factory building at 63 Flansburg Ave. in Dalton. BPVS is a co sponsor and will have detailed solar info. at our booth. There will be lots of local art and crafts for sale and other environmentally responsible vendors like BPVS. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.  Posted By: cdk . (2017-05-09)  
BPVS Is Hiring!
BPVS Is Hiring!
Would you like to join the BPVS team? We are hiring! Send your resume to us at Becca@bpvs.com!  Posted By: BM . (2017-04-20)  
Welcome Walker To BPVS!
Welcome Walker To BPVS!
Meet our newest Intern, Walker Phillips. He is currently working as a solar analyst/technician for us at BPVS. Walker is in his junior year at MCLA and will be graduating with both marketing and finance degrees. Solar Energy and other alternative energy sources have become a growing interest of his throughout the past three years. He has shown exemplary initiative to research the technology and our growing industry. One of his tasks is the annual revision of our annual Clean Energy Statistic Data Base Report, which can be found under our Clean Energy Stats section on our website. We are…
BPVS VP Rebecca Martin
BPVS VP Rebecca Martin
BPVS, Berkshire Photovoltaic Services Inc. has promoted Rebecca Martin to the position of Vice President. Rebecca is now celebrating her tenth year working for the firm. Rebecca lives in Pownal Vermont with her husband, Brad and their one year old son, Bentley. She began working at BPVS as a paid intern in her junior year at MCLA and is this year celebrating 10 years of full time work. Rebecca is adept at solar PV design and utility documentation and all financial aspects of the business. As BPVS expands she will be responsible for training new employees and interns on customer…
SRECsII Extension Plus
SRECsII Extension Plus
We have updated our popular SRECs white paper on the market going forward and on the SRECs II extension policy for new solar customers and this time included a brief discussion of issues around the new SMART solar policy and program in the works for Massachusetts. See our Solar RECs INFO link  Posted By: cdk . (2017-02-17)  
Massachusetts New Solar Policy
Massachusetts New Solar Policy
The Massachusetts Dept of Energy Resources DOER will announce their new solar incentive program/proposal on Tuesday Jan. 31st. Their “straw proposal” was presented in the Fall as part of the regulatory strategy to establish new net metering rules. BPVS and many other stakeholders criticized the straw proposal for among many inequities, giving all control of management and incentive payments to the utilities. See http://solarisworking.org/for a good review of the legislation which prompted this about face in Massachusetts solar policy. DOER is simply carrying out the anti- solar strategy some utility executives have proclaimed for years and which the Baker administration supports.…
Happy Solar 2017
Happy Solar 2017
As we close out our busiest year ever we wish to thank all our customers for their confidence in BPVS and the best of times to all in the New Year! While the Massachusetts solar incentive policy is in flux as we enter 2017 , the federal Tax credit will still be a valuable aid to those who want to make an environmental difference by generating clean solar electricity. We have a full slate of installations ready to go when the weather breaks. If you are contemplating a PV system to be installed this coming year now is the time…
2016 Vadnais Environmental lecture
2016 Vadnais Environmental lecture
This year’s Elizabeth and Lawrence Vadnais Environmental Issues lecture will host Dr. John Harris speaking on regional concerns from climate change . The lecture is on Thursday , November 17, at 7p.m. in the MCLA Murdock Hall Sammer Dennis room on the second floor. Murdock Hall is at the center of the campus on Church Street in North Adams. We’re looking forward to hearing Dr. John Harris , a renowned naturalist speak to the changes he has seen, and we should expect, due to to climate change. His most recent book RETURNING NORTH WITH THE SPRING, is published by the…
Solar Stats to Date
Solar Stats to Date
Solar Production This Summer We’d like to thank all our customers who keep accurate records of their PV system’s production and report into us. Terry Kellogg of Peru Ma a retired GE Technician was the first to note a trend this summer … after an excellent June, kWh production went down July – September compared to last year. Last year was a banner year 10% above average for his site . Alternately production has been near or above normal this Summer in Eastern Ma. All in, for western MA hilltowns and the Berkshires, production thus far for 2016 is ~…
Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline
Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline
350.org  Berkshires has announced a local action to support the  Lakota  Sioux movement to stop fossil fuel subsidies and expanded combustion.   We know there is a better way and solar energy is a big part of that path. Indigenous peoples around the world are setting the example of conscience. There is a national movement to show solidarity…come be a part of it. ..4:30-6 pm  at Park Sq Pittsfield Tuesday 9/13  – Bring a sign or just bring yourself!  Please share with your friends/networks. The movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline is growing stronger by the day, and it’s time…
Stephen L. Congdon
Stephen L. Congdon
One of   Berkshire County’s earliest solar advocates passed away recently .  Stephen  Congdon was a  long time  friend and one of our earliest customers for  both utility interactive  PV and PV with storage. In fact what he accomplished with his plan and our help to incrementally grow the  PV capacity with innovative battery storage  at his home in Richmond from 1997 to 2004 anticipated  what the PV industry considers highly innovative now in 2016.  A long time Professor of Chemistry at Berkshire Community College , in his retirement he remained active each year hosting environmental studies students at his home…
Ma DPU Hearings and Comments
Ma DPU Hearings and Comments
This afternoon  June 14th at 4 we will join with environmental activists to draw attention to the Department of Public Utilities hearing at the Berkshire Athaneum  on allowing  Gas Pipeline capital costs to be collected by electric utilities from all ratepayers.  Please join us at Park Square in Pittsfield  and then attend the hearing to voice your concerns. This is really an unprecedented , pre – emptive way to foist gas pipeline infrastructure on the state. We don’t need new pipelines and the private concerns behind this  cannot get financing to build them ….that is why they are are trying…
32 years!
32 years!
Now  enjoying our 32nd year in operation as the region’s most experienced and sought after  PV design and installation firm… thanks to all who sent congratulations through emails and social media . We are so fortunate to have customers  committed to the environment and who monitor their system’s  performance carefully. While this  past May was below average in production   April was above average .  Soon  you’ll see our  updated clean energy stats posted and it will confirm that annual  production fluctuates withina a narrow range in western MA. This  last  year  we have frequented actions and  helped  plan strategies…
Fossil Fuel Divestment Seminar
Fossil Fuel Divestment Seminar
Here is an excellent article in the Berkshire Edge by Gary Stoller explaing the reasons for  Fossil Fuel Divestment . http://theberkshireedge.com/divesting-fossil-fuel-companies-affect-personal-investments/ Gary has organized a seminar supported by the Berkshire Node of 350.org on the subject for this Saturday: May 21, 10:00am-11:30am at the Ralph Froio Senior Center in Pittsfield Objective specialists will discuss the details of Fossil Fuel Divestment and re-investment to support climate healing.     Posted By: cdk . (2016-05-17)  
Sustainability Fair
Sustainability Fair
The first Berkshire Sustainability Fair  called ” Living the Change” will take place on Saturday MAY  7th  11:00 am  to 11:00 pm at the Shire City Sanctuary  on 40  Melville  Street  Pittsfield, MA  just east of  the Transit center on Main Street . Come celebrate our victories for the environment  with the Berkshire Environmental Action Team, the  Berkshire Node of 350. org , Berkshire food  Co-Op , The Schumacher Society and  many others including BPVS.  Seminars , Crafts ,  Food and  Vendors,  a free showing of Naomi  Klein’s new documentary  and a  dance party . Check out the details in…
Earth Day Victories
Earth Day Victories
We’re marking significant victories for a rational energy policy this week!  Cancellation of the NED Pipeline was announced – we heard the news Wednesday night at the Berkshire 350.org  meeting – and this afternoon we learn that the Constitution Pipeline in NY state has been denied a water quality permit waiver by NY DEC ….steadfast opposition to the fossil fuel industry the past few years has shown that the citizenry  wants  renewables  and honest research proving  this fracked gas was not  really needed for New England prevailed- There are many people and organizations who stood united across the Northeast ….just…
Solar Legislation & Berkshire 350.Org
Solar Legislation & Berkshire 350.Org
This week on Weds. April 20th at the monthly  350.org  Berkshire Node meeting  Chris Derby Kilfoyle of BPVS will speak on the new legislation  and  Gary Stoller , one of the founders of the divestiture movement  will speak on the fossil fuel divestiture campaign and upcoming actions.  Berkshire 350.0rg always welcomes new members. The meeting is at 7:00pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church 175  Wendell Avenue  in Pittsfield , MA. A potluck dinner starts at 6:30 pm. Find out more at  the chapters   Facebook page: 350MA Berkshire Node The new solar legislation presents a host of  new problems and barriers…
New Solar Law in MA
New Solar Law in MA
New Massachusetts Solar Legislation Governor Baker is expected to sign into  law , Monday April 11th  the compromise solar bill passed by the House and Senate last week.  The bill is far from perfect ; it is not even good or fair but  it does provide some relief  for  solar businesses and customers confused and unable to make long term  plans  since January 2014 when the states largest utilities began an active lobbying campaign against solar net metering and the SRECs  incentive. The bill raises the public and private limits  or ‘caps’ on net metered  distributed generation. For the last…
Climate Change Talk in Williamstown
Climate Change Talk in Williamstown
William R. Moomaw, lead author of five U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Reports, coordinating lead author of two, will speak on “Exceeding Expectations: Beyond the Climate Agreements at COP21.” Moomaw will describe what happened in Paris outside the official boundaries of COP21—among the regions, the states, the cities, the private sector business groups, the municipalities, and individual organizations. It is an exciting, untold story of commitments to carbon reduction that equal or exceed the pledges of some major countries.   The talk, which is free and open to the public, will be at 11:20 a.m., April 10, in…
NEW SRECs Info
NEW SRECs Info
We have updated our popular  Massachusetts SRECs  white paper – you can see it on our web site here Solar RECs Info which is always  on the left side of the home page  We updated key sections because of recent policy and publicity  events . Late Friday Feb. 5th , the Massachusetts Div. of Energy Resources made a surprising ( to some) announcement  that  led with the notice that the SRECs II program was oversubscribed. This created a little panic which  was fanned into a larger panic from misinformation that showed up in a Boston Globe article  on Tuesday Feb . 8th.…
New MA Solar legislation
New MA Solar legislation
Today over 56  solar business, public interest  and environmental organizations  jointly released a two page summary on the various solar bills before the House. See below to download the pdf.    We’re proud to be part of the effort led by Attorney  Mark  LeBel of the Acadia Center.  This  summary tells the truth about solar costs and benefits and counters the expensive  lobbying , PR and whispering campaign the fossil fuel industry spread throughout the state  since late August 2015. You may recall the House leadership late in the fall session stage managed  passage of a regressive  solar bill written…
Solar tax credit Extension
Solar tax credit Extension
The  really good news today with the Federal Government Omnibus Bill passing the House and most likely the Senate is that  government agencies won’t shut down.    Another positive achievement is that  Solar tax credits have been extended . For now RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL Solar prospects and customers   can count on the same rules  for the next  couple of years.  We’ll have  new guidance on  tax credit changes to expect after 2018  soon.One consequence of the wrangling on this bill is that in exchange for extending the tax credits for solar and other renewables , the oil industry is now…
There is hope yet for us as a species
There is hope yet for us as a species
That is how  Michael Feldstein closed his summary of the Paris Climate Conference agreements in a  message to  his fellow members of the Berkshire 350.0rg  group,   you can read Michaels selected anthology of articles on details of the conference  at https://flipboard.com/@mfeldstein/350ma-links-vtk396qfy. If you wish to join one of the most active “nodes ” of  350.org  please come to our monthly meeting this Wednesday evening at the Unitarian Universalist church  in Pittsfield. Do you want more details and to learn more about  the activities and the groups current efforts to aid the the Mass Power Forward campaign?   Please visit the …
Massachusetts Power Forward
Massachusetts Power Forward
Mass Power forward was launched  today wiith simultaneous  press conferences in cities across the state. More than 60 organizations from environmental groups to businesses to faith communities are working together to support progressive solar and anti fossil fuel legislation in the Commonwealth. To help support  go to: http://org.salsalabs.com/o/2155/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=18404 BPVS joined friends from  the Berkshire Environmental Action Team, the Berkshire Node of 350.org and the Stop the Pipeline  Group.  Watch for articles in the local  papers and on line news sites.     Posted By: cdk . (2015-10-09)  
SRECs Summer 2015
SRECs Summer 2015
The 2015  SRECs auction has cleared and the values  for both SRECs I and and SRECs II on the open market have improved. Early  solar adopters continue to be punished by the state’s  solar  incentive policies. RECs prices are miserably low.   Our popular RECs/  SRECs  white paper has been updated . This is the 10th version since 2010 and essential reading to understand distinctions between a production incentive like  the massachusetts REC or SREC  and Net Metering.. To view the attached PDF file, Click Here . Posted By: cdk . (2015-07-31)  
Contact Us Update
Contact Us Update
 IMPORTANT    If you contacted us at  info@bpvs.com  during the weekend of July 11th and 12th  or  through to noon on July 13th then unfortunately we won’t have your message  – it was accidentally deleted . please send a new message or call us.  Thanks       Posted By: cdk . (2015-07-13)  
Support Solar Net metering
Support Solar Net metering
On the 12th of May   a special statehouse hearing led by Senator Downing of the First district which includes the Berkshires  will focus on long term renewable energy issues  for Massachusetts. Among these is the net metering cap that is now preventing some  PV installations from going forward in National Grid territory and will in other utilities in coming months. Please contact the governor and your local legislators to voice your support for  rational,  consistent solar policy in Massachusetts so we can get on with environmental healing rather than the  boom and bust cycles dictated by utility concerns. Find out…
2015 Blizzard
2015 Blizzard
Folksingers  Dan and Faith Senie    danandfaith .com from Bolton MA sent us a photo of their rooftop array after the storm and we’re pleased to see their relatively steep roof self clear. We installed their first increment of PV in the year  2000 and an expansion in Dec 2014. Senie 2015 Blizzard.pdf To view the attached PDF file, Click Here . Posted By: cdk . (2015-01-28)  
Chris Kilfoyle Presenting at the 350-MA Berkshire Node's Monthly Meeting
Chris Kilfoyle Presenting at the 350-MA Berkshire Node's Monthly Meeting
Wednesday this week, January 21st  Chris Derby Kilfoyle of BPVS will present: An overview of the net metering policies in flux in Massachusetts and the various new legislative efforts at the 350.org  Berkshire Node meeting in Pittsfield at the unitarian Universalist Church – 174 Wendell Avenue , Pittsfield , MA . The meeting begins at 6:00pm. Find out more about the 350MA Berkshire Node at: http://350ma-berkshires.org/ or follow them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/BerkshireNode350MA   Posted By: Richie Doucette . (2015-01-19)  
Happy New Year- 30 Years!
Happy New Year- 30 Years!
We’re closing out our busiest year ever ; thanks to all our customers and  we’re looking forward to  installing new  PV sytems for many new customers  already slated for 2015 and expanding existing customers systems. . 2015 will be our 30th anniversary. Early on in January we’ll be contributing comments and advisories on solar policy  to the Massachusetts Net metering Task Force and the new Baker administration officials at DOER.   January is also the month we focus on writing farm grants – we have a full slate of these projects which are so important to the farmers of course but…
Farm Grant for Sophisticated Solar Design
Farm Grant for Sophisticated Solar Design
Many Forks Farm of Clarksburg MA has been awarded a grant under the Massachusetts Dept. Of Agricultural Resources  ( MDAR) Ag Energy  program to help defray the cost of  a stand alone solar electric system with advanced storage batteries designed by BPVS. The unique system will provide reliable  power for the farm’s greenhouse ventilation needs, power tools and lighting as well as occasional irrigation pumping. Many Forks farm is a Community  Supported Agriculture Farm founded and worked  by Sharon Wyrrick.  The MDAR  Ag Energy  Program has limited funds and  is highly competitive. Awards are made based on need , technical excellence…
Peoples Climate March NYC
Peoples Climate March NYC
BPVS – five of us – is all prepared to march with the Berkshire Node of  350.org and looking forward to seeing many of our Massachusetts- 350 .org   friends as we gather near  the Museum of Natural History at 11:00 am   Posted By: cdk . (2014-09-18)  
MA Solar Legislation update
MA Solar Legislation update
Thanks to your efforts and like minded clean energy advocates across the state the  so called ” compromise” solar bill  H 4185 never made it out of committee this week. Introduced late in the session, crafted in secret by large scale out of state  solar developers and financiers with the utilities,  this bill would have radically changed solar electric  policy. Legislators recognized that certain provisions in this complex bill would not have saved ratepayers money. Despite superficial aspects that seemed pro solar in fact the bill would’ve given utilities greater discretion to delay projects, reduce the viability of true Community…
Solar Net Metering Crisis in MA
Solar Net Metering Crisis in MA
         Many people do not realize that for the last year a net metering cap has been looming over the state of solar grid connect PV in Massachusetts. In some categories there is a waiting list and all new solar projects could stop this summer. The utilities have meted out small increments of aggregate capacity to solar and other renewable generators over the years.                  Legislation has moved  to the House Ways and Means committee Please call your local legislators- Senator and Representative  – their contact information can be found here:                                And Call the the House Ways and Means committee…
Green Fair Event!
Green Fair Event!
We will be visiting Wahconah Regional High School this week to participate in their Green Fair. The schools Green Umbrella Club invited local businesses who have a focus on sustainable practices. We are looking forward to this event!     Posted By: BM . (2014-05-15)  
Congratulations To Richie!
Congratulations To Richie!
Congratulations to our employee Richard Doucette for completing his PV-Entry Level Photovoltaic Certification! The objective of the course is to prepare students for taking the NABCEP PV Entry Level Exam by learning the fundamentals of PV systems design and installation.   Posted By: BM . (2014-05-13)  
Berkshires Be Solar wise
Berkshires Be Solar wise
Berkshires  Be Solar Wise.   You have likely noticed a new verb bandied about in solar promotion programs: the word is “Solarize” .  It had an earlier history promoting tanning booths but has been picked up by a state program encouraging towns to go solar and now by multiple national firms operating in Massachusetts under local agents.   At BPVS we understand you’re too smart to be mesmerized by solar hype , that you expect the design , installation , and service of your investment in  solar energy will  meet the tests of  technical integrity over time.  Our 29 year…
MA Net Metering Legislation
MA Net Metering Legislation
The Massachusetts House and Senate Committee held a public hearing on Tuesday  March 11th to take comments on various new bills to address the Net Metering capacity crisis.  The legislature will act soon to raise the limits set on interconnecting  new solar and other renewable distributed generation to the grid.  Christopher  Derby Kilfoyle of BPVS  testified in favor of   Rep. Smizeks’ bill H 3901 and its’  identical counterpart, SB 2019  Senator Petruccelli introduced to the Senate. These bills  will extend existing regulations and allow solar capacity growth through the end of 2016. Massachusetts residents in favor of solar should…
Thunderbolt Ski Race Adams March 1
Thunderbolt Ski Race Adams March 1
Be sure to come to Adams Massachusetts this weekend for the Thnderbolt Ski Race on Saturday and the Thunderfest all weekend http://www.thunderboltskirunners.org This is a true back country ski race down the historic Thunderbolt trail from the top of Mount Greylock to Gould Farm. BPVS is a long time supporter  of the event . Sean and Adam  are helping prepare the trail on Friday and Chris will be volunteering at HQ tent during the Race.   Posted By: cdk . (2014-02-26)  
Flow battery Breakthrough
Flow battery Breakthrough
Exciting news on  electricity storage, an economic flow battery will be the result of research at Harvard University reported recently in Nature magazine. Use of organic material for battery technology is a sustainability benchmark which will help  consumers and the grid rely on intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Read the full story at http://www.seas.harvard.edu/news/2014/01/organic-mega-flow-battery-promises-breakthrough-for-renewable-energy     Posted By: cdk . (2014-01-15)  
PV professional certification
PV professional certification
Bryan Waryjasz and Adam Rich received news last night they passed their PV professional Certification Exams. Very few people  achieve this NABCEP certification  the highest credential in the solar industry. All of us at BPVS know their PV expertise and we’re so proud they now have diplomas to prove it.   Congratulations fellows!   Posted By: cdk . (2013-12-12)  
Check out this new organization!
Check out this new organization!
We encourage you to bring your commitment to clean energy to a new type of solar advocacy and educational nonprofit organization forming to focus on issues affecting solar ownership in  Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Solar Owners Association is now inviting members to join through very affordable levels. The MASOA mission is to provide unbiased information on state policy, regulations, solar market developments and consumer protection. As an all volunteer, web based organization MASOA will canvass members to achieve majority positions on  changes contemplated by the legislature, the administration and state agencies, as well as utilities in adopting solar energy policies. Check…
Upcoming Event!
Upcoming Event!
The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts community is pleased that world-renowned environmental advocate Marion Stoddart will present the annual MCLA Elizabeth and Lawrence Vadnais Environmental Issues Lecture on Tuesday November 19th, at 7PM in the MCLA Murdock Hall Sammer Dennis Room (218). For more information about this event please visit: http://www.mcla.edu/About_MCLA/notablespeakers/elizabethandlawrencevadnaisenvironmentalissueslecture/   Posted By: BM . (2013-11-19)  
New report on PV owner benefits
New report on PV owner benefits
The Massachusetts  Dept . of Energy Resources has released a long awaited report on the economic impacts of Residential PV  ownership vs. those for the Third Party lease model. The report was done by an objective group of consultants using an apples to apples comparison strategy. Over the last couple of years 52% + of  installed  residential PV systems in Massachusetts are really owned by out of state companies who lease them to residents in various kinds of deals that typically involve 15 to 20  year terms wherein the homeowner makes monthly lease payments or pays for the solar electricity produced. These…
Senator Downing meets BPVS Intern
Senator Downing meets BPVS Intern
Senator Ben Downing met with BPVS summer intern, Ryan Puckett yesterday. Ryan has completed excellent research work this summer on the emissions deferral from solar clean energy systems and on historic residential electric rates; his work is featured in earlier news stories below. Senator Downing reviewed Ryan’s research and discussed the relations of electricity rate increases during his first term and the work he and his committee have done to reverse the trend. Professor Elena Traister of MCLA also attended the meeting and spoke of Ryan’s undergraduate work and answered the Senator’s questions on the internship requirements of the Environmental Study major at MCLA. Rebecca Martin, PV project manager…
How will PV supplement my electric usage?
How will PV supplement my electric usage?
Attached is our updated spreadsheet allowing you to quickly get a sense of how much of your electricity usage could be supplemented by varying sizes of PV systems.   Not only will this chart give you estimates on the amount of electricity that a PV system could supplement, but it also will help you estimate the percentage that your electric bill could be cut, as well as the percentage of greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity generation that would be eliminated with a PV system. For quantitative amounts of greenhouse gas emissions that a nominal 1 kW PV system will…
Massachusetts Residential Electricity Prices
Massachusetts Residential Electricity Prices
Attached is a graph showing the trend in average electricity prices (cents per kWh) in Massachusetts since 1990. The average annual price increase is 2.26% each year however some years have experienced volatile price swings with the greatest price increase happening from 2005-2006 (23.51%) and the greatest decrease happening from 2009-2010 (13.52%). To view the attached PDF file, Click Here . Posted By: RP . (2013-08-15)  
Updated Clean Energy Stats
Updated Clean Energy Stats
Here is the PDF link to the updated version of our “Clean Energy Stats” analysis. This analysis covers the average yearly electricity output from a nominal 1 kW solar PV system  for the last ten years including  2012 reports and then calculates the environmental benefits from the most recent complete data for the Western Massachusetts generation mix of emissions. Our 2011 statistics for comparison are available at the Clean Energy Stats  link on the left side of our home page . Grid supplied electricity is getting cleaner because of greater reliance on Natural Gas  rather than oil and coal… keep…
June Rain Affects PV Generation
June Rain Affects PV Generation
Here are the results of our June kWh analysis for the past five years from a representative sample of our customers in western MA.  Note the trend in electricity production versus rainfall amounts. As expected, the two are directly related. With this past June being  the 4th wettest on record  according to the Albany NY weather station, PV generation was slightly reduced. Modules are kept cleaner on arrays which is a good thing ; we’d prefer all rainfall occurred at night. This chart was produced by Ryan Puckett, our summer intern from MCLA.  
July 16th Legislative Hearing
July 16th Legislative Hearing
The  Massachusetts legislative hearing on a wide variety of renewable Energy Bills was held on Tuesday at the Statehouse  before the Joint  Committee on Telecommunications , Utilities and Energy, chaired by Senator Ben Downing and Representative . John Keenan.  Both legislators are well versed in the complexities of energy policy in the state; their questions and comments displayed authentic objectivity in discerning the value to all  citizens of the bills presented. There  was strong support  among those testifying for  House Bill 2915 ,  sponsored by Rep. Thomas Calter,  which if enacted will guarantee a floor price for SRECS or  Solar…
Solar PPA & Lease Guidance
Solar PPA & Lease Guidance
Aggressive internet advertising and sales people are pushing  Solar leases and Power Purchase agreements for residential customers. These are often  teased as “no money down”  offers and in Massachusetts some programs sponsored by the state include this type of third party ownership  (TPO) model from out of state solar companies and their financiers. At BPVS we have yet to see an offer like this make real financial sense for any homeowner and we are not offering the current crop of  TPO schemes. About  Residential  Solar Lease/PPA agreements    Initial issues: Does it sound too good to be true? Is the…
Farm Grant Season
Farm Grant Season
This week the last of  the PV  grant applications for local farms  we’ve prepared for the annual  competitive programs sponsored by the USDA and Massachusetts Dept. of Agriculture will go out in the mail to meet the May 30th deadline. What a relief for us and the farmers to be done with all the paperwork! Typically these grant applications run 125 pages; the PV design, equipment  specs., wiring  and structural diagrams , production estimates , emission deferrals and a host of other details are part of the package.  Applications are judged by regional USDA experts to score the farms for…
Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples
During recent site assessments we’ve learned where some people are getting misinformation on solar….our competitors or at least some of them. There are now over 200 firms selling solar electric systems in Massachusetts, most are less than three years old. Here are some of the deceptions in play in this market:   “Better hurry ; sign up with us now.. the states rebate program is running out of money” There is no reason for any Massachusetts consumer to feel pressured into a purchase for solar. The MASSCEC programs are continuously funded.   2.   “All solar modules are the same “   …
Sara Ross and Sungage
Sara Ross and Sungage
This is an important debate to watch on the Solar lease vs Solar ownership  models in the marketplace. http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/31902831 We at BPVS are very proud to support the solar financing model  Sara Ross and her staff at Sungage based in Amherst   www.sungage.net   has created and look forward to offering it in Massachusetts to our customers.   Posted By: cdk . (2013-04-25)  
SRECS/RECS Update
SRECS/RECS Update
We are updating our  SRECS and RECS guidance paper and will post it here soon. The rather dismal prospects for SRECS values over the next three years reported in the Green Press last week have been met with an announcement by the MA DOER that they are engaged in program improvements and will consult industry stakeholders. We alerted the DOER to our concerns about the SRECS  slide and the need for equitable values for RECS to  provide relief to  early PV adopters. Stay tuned for more announcements. This issue will be a major point of discussion at the NESEA conference…
Updated Clean Energy Stats!
Updated Clean Energy Stats!
The table was first created by Abby Krich in 2004 when she was an intern at BPVS from Cornell University. BPVS summer interns under the direction of Becca Martin update the “stats” for emissions deferral and to incorporate the latest annual production from our customer sample. This year MCLA senior, Yvonne Camacho, completed the analysis and report.  We’re noticing a trend in recent years where summer months all increased in average production while all of the winter months decreased. October has stayed the same; many people have noticed rather dismal October weather the last few years. Why is updating this table each year important? First the fuel source mix of utilities providing…
Guest Speaking at Mt. Greylock High School
Guest Speaking at Mt. Greylock High School
On December 14th Becca will be returning for a third year to Mt Greylock High School for a guest speaking event in Becky Green’s Environmental Science class for their unit on “Careers in Environmental Science”.   Posted By: BM . (2012-11-26)  
MCLA Vadnais Lecture December 4
MCLA Vadnais Lecture December 4
The annual  Elizabeth and Lawrence Vadnais  Environmental Lecture will be on December 4th at  7:00 pm in Murdock Hall at  the campus of the  Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams.  This years lecture will be presented by  Stephen L. Cowell , founder and CEO of Conservation Services Group. For over 30 years Stephen has been a passionate advocate for conservation and clean energy policy regionally and nationally. Steve’s leadership during the early days of PV has had lasting significance as have  his contributions to the formation of the Obama administration energy policy.  We’re looking forward to important  insights…
BPVS Climbs Mt. Washington
BPVS Climbs Mt. Washington
BPVS crew members Bryan, Donnie, Sean, Adam, and BPVS friends/alumni John and Joe climbed Mt. Washington on 10/13/12! Temperature at the summit was 7 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind speed of 40MPH. An exciting introduction to winter, there was nearly 12 inches of snow at the summit! BPVS installs PV systems year round, and this hike was great preparation for cold Berkshire to come!  
Hoosac Mock Trial
Hoosac Mock Trial
On June 7th, Hoosac Valley High School students held a mock trial to discover the best source of electricity. Rebecca Knights, guest speaker, represented photovoltaic energy discussing the process, growing trends, and the immense benefits of implementation. Through cross examination on “trial” she made a case for solar power use versus fossil fuels, geothermal, and nuclear energy. This interactive presentation was an engaging way for students to learn about renewable energy.   Posted By: YC . (2012-06-07)  
Solar and Fire Safety
Solar and Fire Safety
On June 13th, Chris Kilfoyle of BPVS will present on Solar and Firefighter  Safety to the Lanesborough MA  Volunteer Fire Department.  This  lecture is one of many  Chris has made since  2004 on the subject to local fire departments and at SEBANE conferences.   Posted By: cdk . (2012-05-29)  
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates
Here is our popular SRECS essay updated for 2012. Its remarkable how many people have emailed to thank us for this  ( admittedly rather long  ) explanation of  Massachusetts Solar  Renewable Energy Certificates.   SRECSRECS4-19- 2012 for Customers.pdf To view the attached PDF file, Click Here . Posted By: cdk . (2012-05-02)  
Busy Times 27 Years
Busy Times 27 Years
Our best April ever as more projects come on line and more  new customers who  have received free site assessments and quotes order us to proceed to installation.  The end of April traditionally means an increase in business. This year we’re finding new customers are not just serious about solar but know what they want in capacity and in terms of quality. They’ve done their homework and are selecting BPVS for lots of reasons: Our existing solar customers have referred them Our presentations are simple , our equipment and  designs proven We don’t pressure people Competitors have confused and badgered…
Earth Weekend 2012
Earth Weekend 2012
Please come to Williamstown for an important talk by Frank Lowenstein, Global Climate Adaptation Strategy Leader for The Nature Conservancy on Sunday, April 22nd at 3:30 in the Fellowship Hall at  the First Congregational Church on Main Street or Route 2 in the heart of the Williams college campus. This event is free and open to the public. Lowenstein will speak about the latest international climate change negotiations and impacts on the Berkshires. There will be an introduction by Elizabeth Kolbert, staff writer for the New Yorker and member of the Williamstown COOL Committee. The COOL  Committee is sponsoring the…
Earth Day at NESEA
Earth Day at NESEA
On Saturday April 21st   NESEA , the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association will host a full day design charette on improvements for their headquarters in Greenfield MA. Chris will attend and part of this day will be the dedication of a new solar array at the site  in memory of longtime NESEA member and good friend,  Richard Gottlieb. We hope to see you there.   Posted By: cdk . (2012-04-09)  
Welcome Adam Rich
Welcome Adam Rich
Welcome  new employee,  Adam Rich to BPVS . Adam will be involved in design and management of projects and brings a wealth of experience.
Elizabeth Kolbert at MCLA April 4th 2012
Elizabeth Kolbert at MCLA April 4th 2012
The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) hosts an annual Environmental Issues Lecture named for retired MCLA Professor Lawrence Vadnais and his wife Elizabeth. This years’ speaker is Elizabeth Kolbert, author of “Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man Nature and Climate Change”. Ms. Kolbert is a staff writer for the New Yorker Magazine and 2010 winner of the Heinz Environmental award. The lecture is at 7:00PM April 4th at Murdock Hall on the MCLA campus. http://www.mcla.edu/About_MCLA/notablespeakers/elizabethandlawrencevadnaisenvironmentalissueslecture/ We look forward to hearing Ms. Kolbert’s insights on climate change and on solutions to mitigate the developing crisis for the planet.   Posted By: CDK…
Wahconah Regional Presentation
Wahconah Regional Presentation
Back by popular demand, Rebecca  ( Becca) Knights of BPVS will this year again speak to the Environmental Science Classes at Wahconah  Regional High School  in Dalton,  Thursday March 29th. April LeSage of the Science Department wrote “We really appreciated the time you spent and I feel it sparked interest in the environmental field of study for the students.” Becca is  a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Environmental Studies Program     Posted By: cdk . (2012-03-22)  
SEBANE Seminar: Solar PV Systems & Fire Safety 
SEBANE Seminar: Solar PV Systems & Fire Safety 
February 29th Chris Derby Kilfoyle will present at the SEBANE sponsored full day workshop on PV & fire safety. Call SEBANE for registration information at 617.227.6980 or view the Heatspring Institute workshop list at http://www.heatspring.com/.   Posted By: BK . (2012-02-29)  
Guest Speaking at Mt. Greylock High School
Guest Speaking at Mt. Greylock High School
Tuesday December 13th Becca will be speaking to environmental science classes at Mt. Greylock High School about her green job experience & BPVS.   Posted By: BK . (2011-12-02)  
Our Berkshire Green Networking Event
Our Berkshire Green Networking Event
Our Berkshire Green Networking event is Thursday, August 25th, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, at Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, MA. These events are informal get togethers, sponsored and hosted by a local venue.  The events are open to the public, and a terrific opportunity for like-minded people to talk about all things “green”. BPVS will be a featured advertiser, so don’t forget to stop by the table and visit Chris.   Posted By: RK . (2011-08-25)  
Solar Energy Discussion at Bascom Lodge
Solar Energy Discussion at Bascom Lodge
Wednesday August 24th Chris Kilfoyle will be presenting an overview of solar electric installs at Bascom Lodge atop Mount Greylock. Talks by professionals on nature and culture at Bascom Lodge are free and open to the public, Wednesdays at 6:00PM. Please see http://bascomlodge.net/Events.html for more details.   Posted By: RK . (2011-08-24)  
BPVS Completes 7.05kW System at Adams Wastewater Treatment Plant
BPVS Completes 7.05kW System at Adams Wastewater Treatment Plant
(Bryan Waryjasz(above) doing final module checks at Adams Wastewater Treatment Facility)   BPVS recently finished installing a 7.05kW solar electric array on the uppermost roof at the Adams Wastewater Treatment Facility.  The array consisted of 30 Schott-Poly 235 watt modules on a custom mounting system that was designed and constructed by BPVS integrated with parts from Ecofasten and Direct Power.  The power produced by this system will help reduce the towns overall electricity consumption as well as lessening the environmental impact of Adams, MA.   Posted By: NG . (2011-08-11)  
Solar noon Plainfield Ma
Solar noon Plainfield Ma
North Side of the Plainfield Massachusetts Congregational Church , lunch break july 21, 2011. There is a rich history to Plainfield and this spot.  Was the game of basket ball really first played here ?   Certainly  this  church is a favorite  for chamber music. Photos taken at solar noon. The building was sighted /sited correctly.     Posted By: cdk . (2011-07-21)  
SEIA Code of Conduct Review Webinar
SEIA Code of Conduct Review Webinar
Chris & Becca took part in a webinar discussing SEIA’s (Solar Energy Industries Association) new voluntary Code of Conduct for their members, this code will expand on SEIA’s existing code. We expect the final Code to be released later this year. More information can be found at http://www.seia.org/.   Posted By: RK . (2011-07-12)  
May Production Totals
May Production Totals
he poor weather this May has been reflected in lower production totals compared to previous years. To view the attached PDF file, Click Here . Posted By: Max Dilthey . (2011-06-13)  
Rebecca Knights Certification
Rebecca Knights Certification
(Rebecca Knights pictured above with CT Plunkett’s Mara Woolley) Rebecca Knights has earned a “Clean Environment and Solar Sense” educator certification at a recent seminar presented by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association and sponsored by Western Massachusetts Electric Company.  Additionally she received a solar lab kit.  This kit with other materials from BPVS will help her continue the “pro bono” work of BPVS in solar education.  Becca has presented to students at CT Plunkett Elementary School in Adams, MA, the Conte Middle School in North Adams, MA, Mount Greylock High School in Williamstown, MA, and to the environmental science majors…
Solar Sense Workshop
Solar Sense Workshop
Tuesday May 3rd Becca will be attending a Solar Sense Workshop in Amherst, MA. This workshop will give tips on how to educate grades 3-12 on the basics of solar energy. Posted By: BK . (2011-05-03)  
Chris Speaking at the Norman Rockwell Museum May 5th
Chris Speaking at the Norman Rockwell Museum May 5th
Thursday May 5, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m Chris will join other environmental speakers from the community at the Norman Rockwell Museum to give a talk on sustainable/renewable energy. This program is part of the Four Freedoms Forum offered at the museum, it is free & open to the public. Please see www.nrm.org for more information. Posted By: BK . (2011-04-29)  
Solar Production Results from 2010!
Solar Production Results from 2010!
The results are in for production benchmarks month by month based on our monitored systems in Western MA through the end of 2010 and comparison of their seven year averages with estimated production based on Boston and Albany meteorological data. Included in our download table equating solar kilowatt hours with emissions deferral for the region’s energy mix. To view the attached PDF file, Click Here . Posted By: NG . (2011-04-07)  
HNE Agricultural Marketing Conference March 1-3 Sturbridge, MA
HNE Agricultural Marketing Conference March 1-3 Sturbridge, MA
BPVS will be attending and exhibiting at the Harvest New England Association Conference March 1-3rd , 2011 in Sturbridge MA for more details go to www.harvestnewengland.org. We are especially looking forward to hearing this years speakers like Ben Hewitt discuss how the local farm economy contributes so much to community sustainability. We have installed Farm PV systems since the 1980s’ and so see first hand the hard work and the heroes in the renaissance of the New England Farm. It should not surprise historians of the future that the new economy model, inspired by E.F. Schumakers’ works, was led by those…
Becca Visiting Environmental Science Classes at Mt. Greylock Regional High
Becca Visiting Environmental Science Classes at Mt. Greylock Regional High
Friday December 17th, 2010 Becca Knights will be speaking to Environmental Science classes at MT. Greylock Regional High School about what it is like working in the environmental field, and the path leading to where she is today.  Posted By: BK . (2010-12-17)  
Chris To Teach PV Training Class To Firefighters
Chris To Teach PV Training Class To Firefighters
Tuesday December 14th Chris Kilfoyle will be teaching a PV safety & training class to the Williamsburg, Goshen & Chesterfield Fire Departments.  Posted By: BK . (2010-12-14)  
Mass Moca Presents: Michael Oatman: All Utopias Fell
Mass Moca Presents: Michael Oatman: All Utopias Fell
Mass MOCA presents Michael Oatman’s: All Utopias Fell, an exhibit in which BPVS worked with Mass MOCA and Michael installing 6 Schott-ASE Modules to help power the exhibit. The launching of this exhibit will take place at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts on Oct. 23 2010. Mass MOCA Presents : All Utopias Fell Posted By: NG . (2010-10-23)  
Solar Electric Reductions of Polluting Emissions
Solar Electric Reductions of Polluting Emissions
Updated Environmental Benefits of installing Photovoltaics(PV) per 1kW of capacity. Environmental Benefits(.pdf) Posted By: Ben Carlson . (2010-06-21)  
Events Announcement
Events Announcement
Chris Kilfoyle of BPVS will be speaking, representing the Solar Energy Business Association of New England at the “Clean Energy Workforce Development” conference at UMass/Lowell on Wednesday, June 23rd. The conference is sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and The New England Clean Energy Council.   On Thursday evening June 24th from 6-9 pm, Lenox, Massachusetts will host an Energy Fair and Forum at the Town Hall. Featured speaker is Dr. Wm. Moomaw who will discuss “Going Green in the Berkshires”. Dr. Moomaw is an internationally respected authority on climate change. Natalie Grillon, Sustainability Coordinator for the Town of…
Michael Oatman
Michael Oatman
This fall marks the opening of artist Michael Oatman’s monumental installation, “All Utopias Fell” at Mass MoCA in North Adams, MA. BPVS was honored to assist Michael with the PV components of this project. Specific opening date TBD.
BPVS Celebrates 25 Years!
BPVS Celebrates 25 Years!
In the spring of 1985 after a few years of helping install small stand alone photovoltaic systems in southern Vermont and western Massachusetts and with the experience of living with a stand alone PV system, Berkshire Photovoltaic Services was born. Attending the 1983 , First National Conference on Photovoltaic Applications at MIT was and still remains the benchmark event for the success of BPVS. That conference was supported by NESEA and was where I met the PV pioneers who remain friends and colleagues to this day. The sense then was that PV would rapidly commercialize and reach ‘grid parity’ by…
Indian Line Farm
Indian Line Farm
What a precious place in South Egremont, MA is this farm , the first in the Community Supported Agriculture model. Their new PV array complements their crop of healthy locally produced food with a clean energy source for their own electricity needs and in export to the utility grid. We’re pleased with the new Schott Poly modules for their array. They are rugged and efficient and because they were shipped as a a matched set to us our design optimizes the PV system production . We really enjoyed working on the system. Al and Liz thanks so much for the…
Schedule Z
Schedule Z
The new “net metering ” provisions in MA means old and new customers have to file Schedule Z to assure their export credits to the local utility are properly compensated. This is one of many beneficial changes for PV in the new tariff regulations for Utility Interactive installations which went into effect Jan 1st, 2010. There is some confusion and bumps in the road as utilities and customers adapt but these will be straightened out over the next months. It’s as important that clean energy production credits are fairly valued as it is an accurate record of sites and their…
Hoosac Valley High Presentation
Hoosac Valley High Presentation
Rebecca Knights of BPVS will be presenting to Hoosac Valley High School  Environmental Science students on the physics of Photovoltaics on June 7th.   She will also discuss  the first year production  results of the PV system installed by BPVS at the Adams Water Quality Treartment Plant  nearby.
Solar Day at the Statehouse
Solar Day at the Statehouse
Tuesday . April 7th is Solar day at the Massachusetts Statehouse . Rebecca Martin , BPVS  Project Manager will lead the Berkshire contingent visiting  our regions legislators. She will be joined by colleagues from across the state  for a 10:00 am rally in Gardner Auditorium. Those who can’t make the trip to Boston please call in  or email your representatIve and Senator  with your support for more Solar energy  systems and the legislation to assure net metering access continues. Be sure to note that arbitrary  utility restrictions to solar must  be lifted. Would you like more detail on the solar…
350.org Meeting June 17th
350.org Meeting June 17th
Join us on Wednesday Night at the UU Church, 175 Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield. Chris Kilfoyle of Berkshire Photovoltaics will present ways to spur solar energy in Massachusetts through policy comments. The presentation will be followed by a letter-writing action to urge our state legislators to support policies promoting solar and energy efficiency and reducing natural gas leaks. Every month the 350MA Berkshire Node holds meetings, which are an opportunity for Berkshire residents to get involved with the growing climate change movement.   Potluck refreshments at 5:30pm, meeting from 6-8pm.   RSVP on Facebook and invite your friends! https://www.facebook.com/events/469690263186525/
BPVS Employees working to better their community
BPVS Employees working to better their community
Here at BPVS, our employees use their skills to better their communities both in and out of work. Bryan Waryjasz Bryan is a graduate from McCann Technical High School and has been a board member for the CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) department for a number of years.  He attends bi-annual meetings where he gets to see firsthand what the students are learning and how they are learning. Bryan provides input on real world applications to better help the teachers prepare the students for when they graduate and enter the workforce. Richie Doucette Upon completion of his undergraduate program in Environmental…
BPVS NOW HIRING
BPVS NOW HIRING
BPVS is growing and now hiring  Experienced and Entry Level  Solar PV technicians wanted Please feel free to send your resume or email us for a complete job description.