Letter: A current idea to bring clean energy to Berkshires

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To the editor:

An article in The Boston Globe ("As woods give way to solar farms, state to issue controversial rules that could harm solar industry," July 13) prompts me to float this idea to Berkshire County's business and political leaders.

As we drive along Tyler or East streets in Pittsfield, how many of us try to avoid looking at the 250-acre concrete desert that once housed General Electric's Pittsfield headquarters?

It is hard to imagine that anyone could seriously believe that this expanse of toxicity will be humming once again with any type of industry or productivity. So why not leave the toxins encased in their concrete and erect a solar array on these acres? There is absolutely no need to rob arable land or clear-cut another precious acre of Massachusetts woodland when creative thinking can turn this blight into a community solar array of the magnitude this site permits.

In addition to the benefits of community solar, the site can be enhanced with walking and cycling paths, low-growing trees and landscaping. No, it will never be another Canoe Meadows, Springside Park or state forest, but it can be an environmental enhancement that will benefit the surrounding neighborhoods and our region into the future. And since we pride ourselves on our creative economy, perhaps an aesthetically pleasing cell tower can be centrally located on the property away from residences.

Finally, why not also finance research into the recycling of solar panels at the Berkshire Innovation Center after their useful lifetime is over?

How interesting if the "electric" legacy of this property could relight the Berkshires in the coming years.

Mary Jane Incorvia Mattina, Ph.D.,

Lenox

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