Hinds touts Pittsfield facility as model for solar, local business synergy

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PHOTO GALLERY | Global Warming & Climate Change Committee stops in Pittsfield

PITTSFIELDFive years ago, Blue Q owners Seth and Mitchell Nash constructed a 340,000-kilowatt solar array in a vacant field adjacent to the 150,000-square-foot building that they own at 703 West Housatonic St.

The payoff has been worth it.

"It powers the whole building," Seth Nash said.

On Monday, state Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, led a tour of the facility for Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco, the founding chairman of the Senate Committee on Global Warming & Climate Change, who got a firsthand look at the Nash brothers' handiwork.

The two senators toured the building before the Massachusetts Clean Energy Future Tour conducted a public hearing at Berkshire Community College on Monday night, the seventh in a series of nine hearings that are being held across the state.

Hinds said he chose the massive structure to show the Taunton Democrat because it represented a good local example of how solar energy is being used to power a building.

The building is home to several small businesses. Blue Q maintains a warehouse in the basement, while LymphDIVAs, which makes compression arm sleeves and gauntlets for people suffering with lymphedema, operates its manufacturing facility on the first floor.

Pacheco, Hinds and their staffs toured both work spaces.

"When you look take a look at manufacturing, the assembly, the number of employees that are here, this is a glimpse into the future of what we should be doing all across the state and all across the United States." Pacheco said afterward.

He thanked the Nashes for installing their solar array.

"It's what we should be doing in the commonwealth," he said.

During the tour, Pacheco said this is a "crucial year in the Legislature because we don't want to go backward in terms of solar."

Pacheco was asked to elaborate on those remarks when the tour ended.

"It's a crucial year just in general with the federal government pulling back from the Paris [climate] accord," he said. "It's a crucial year for the states in the United States to come forward and take the lead."

In Massachusetts, there are many areas where the caps on solar metering have been reached, which makes it difficult to start new projects, he said.

"There are projects that are ready to go that we can't move forward with," he said. "That is not where we want to be at the end of the day."

Reach Business Editor Tony Dobrowolski at 413 496-6224.


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