By Tony Dobrowolski, Berkshire Eagle Staff
Friday, June 13
PITTSFIELD — The City of Pittsfield is taking its first step toward going green.
With the help of state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing, Pittsfield has been selected to participate in the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative's solar-powered lighting system pilot program.
Yesterday, a solar-powered lighting system was installed to illuminate the flagpole at Herberg Middle School on Pomeroy Avenue.
"It's a permanent system," said James McGrath, Pittsfield parks, open space and natural resources coordinator. "It will illuminate the flagpole at the middle school forever."
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The system will be installed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers No. 7, whose members have donated their time, McGrath said.
It will provide seven hours of peak lighting. At night, the lights will dim to 30 percent of peak, with six hours of dusk and one hour of predawn light.
According to McGrath, Downing, a Pittsfield Democrat, made the city aware that the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative was looking for pilot sites for solar-powered systems. City officials contacted the agency, which has an office on South Church Street, and were awarded the system.
The solar-powered system originally was scheduled to be installed last month to light the flagpole at Veterans' Memorial Park on South Street. But further testing revealed that solar power would be ineffective in that area year round.
Herberg Middle School's flag pole illuminated by solar-powered lighting system.