August 9, 2017
In the photo (L to R) are: Martha Grover - Melrose Energy Efficiency Manager, Jeff Jones - Melrose Bank President & CEO, Lori Timmermann - Melrose Energy Commission Co-Chair, Mayor Robert J. Dolan, Ward Alderman, Robert A. Boisselle, Bob Clark - 621 Energy
When it comes to investing in solar energy, Melrose continues to be one of the top communities in Massachusetts. The latest example is Melrose Bank, located at 638 Main St., which recently completed the installation of a rooftop and carport solar array that will supply more than half of the bank’s electricity.
“Renewable energy is an excellent way to reduce harmful emissions and protect the environment,” said Jeff Jones, Melrose Bank’s president and CEO. “As a local business, we want to set the tone for the community and let people know how important this is. We also want people to know that it’s a viable project. There are plans that will work for individual households as well as businesses. Last but not least, this solar array will save the bank money in the long run, so it’s a sound financial investment.”
The 46 kilowatt (kW) project went on-line with National Grid on May 23rd, with 34 kW for the carport and 12 kW on the roof. All told, 138 solar panels were installed and will produce 52,000 kWh of electricity annually, which will reduce the bank’s electricity consumption by 52 percent. This translates into a 36-ton reduction of carbon emissions each year, equivalent to taking 7.5 cars off the road. In only two months of operation, the bank’s system already generated enough energy to power 46,452 light bulbs for a day and has the benefit of planting 597 trees!
The solar array was installed by 621 Energy, a Concord, Massachusetts-based company. A portion of the expenses are being offset by federal and state tax incentives. In addition, the bank will receive solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) for each megawatt hour of electricity produced by the system. These credits can then be sold to electric utilities and suppliers, further reducing the overall cost. The new system is estimated to pay for itself in less than seven years.
In 2014, 621 Energy installed a rooftop solar array on Melrose’s First Congregational Church at 121 W. Foster Street. That system is the largest non-municipal solar array in the city and the largest roof-mounted church solar PV system in the state.
Since their building is located in a designated historic district, the bank worked closely with the city and the Melrose Historic District Commission to design a structure that could fit well in the district, and also provide modern and efficient solar energy at the same time. This solar initiative also follows other simpler energy saving efforts at the bank such as installation of new energy efficient lighting, a “no-idle” request at the drive-up window, increased recycling, and plans to upgrade its 30-year old HVAC system to energy-star rated heating and cooling equipment later this year.
“This is another great step forward for Melrose,” said Lori Timmermann, a member of the Melrose Energy Commission and a local proponent of solar energy. “As you travel around the city, you’ll see more and more solar arrays on homes and businesses. As an environmentally-responsible community, we are setting a great example for other cities and towns in Massachusetts and across the country.”
Melrose Bank is a community bank dedicated to providing financial resources and support for the community. Products and services include residential mortgages, consumer loans, commercial real estate loans, retirement plans and full-service banking. All deposits are insured in full by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Share Insurance Fund, up to legal limits. For more information, please visit melrosebank.com or facebook.com/MelroseBank.