NOAH Turns on the Sun at Coppersmith Village

Special to the Times-Free Press

It was cloudy and overcast on Wednesday May 1, but that did not prevent NOAH from turning on solar power at its 56-unit, mixed-income, coastal resilient housing development at Coppersmith Village on Border St. City, EPA and local officials all spoke of the need to provide clean energy through solar panels as a way to diminish the negative effects of climate change for people in East Boston, where residents and businesses are afflicted by poor air quality and rising sea levels.

City officials and residents attended the official “Turning on” of the solar power at Coppersmith Village.
Rep. Adrian Madaro (left) and Dan Lesser, Chief of Staff to Sheila Dillon, Mayor’s Office of Housing, joke with NOAH’s Executive Director, Phil Giffee (right) as he turns on the solar power at Coppersmith Village.

Working with Resonant Energy, NOAH’s latest clean energy and climate change project installed 96 panels on the roof at Coppersmith Village. Solar energy will now provide about 70% of the building’s public uses such as elevators, laundry, hallway/exterior lighting and the community room which hosted the event’s 50 guests. The solar array will save the project over $200,000 in 20 years, the proceeds of which go back into the buildings budget and not to NOAH.

NOAH has 8 of its three-deckers lined up for future solar installations by Resonant. NOAH will also install solar on the roof of its 36-unit artist-themed project on Condor St., Aileron, when it is built in a couple years. NOAH is committed to clean energy by enrolling in the City of Boston’s Community Choice Electricity program, which means 39% of the energy in NOAH’s East Boston portfolio of 36 buildings use clean energy purchased from Eversource. We are also waiting for more funding from the Biden administration and the EPA from their Solar for All and Green House Gas reduction programs. These Infrastructure funds will flow to the nation and our neighborhood later this summer or fall.

Coppersmith Village was completed in 2019. It was designed four feet above flood plain in order to be resilient in case there was a major storm surge. Sea water would pass under and around the housing and not damage mechanical systems. In addition to mixed-income rentals, NOAH used $8M of City of Boston funds to build 15 condominiums, 8 affordable and 7 market. Working with the City, NOAH is creating another 7 affordable condominiums on Condor St. and they are being marketed by the City right now.

NOAH’s Climate Change work continues in other as our youth plant or water trees with Tree Eastie and our staff works in collaboration with Mother’s Out Front and Air Inc on distributing air filters for interior use in people’s homes to scores of East Boston families; and, we are building 80 raised garden beds for homeowners in East Boston and at the Umana School.

NOAH’s Executive Director, Phil Giffee, said, “I am very grateful for the support our elected officials Rep Adrian Madaro, City Councilor Gabriela Coletta and State Senator Lydia Edwards have shown for affordable housing as well as Climate Change, two of the most pressing challenges of our time. We benefit immensely from the innovation and passion of Mayor Wu and her Green New Deal as well as the Biden Administration, EPA and Congress for investing billions of dollars in bi-partisan climate change infrastructure projects. So much needs to be done that we need to realize we need to work together to save our neighborhood and Mother Earth herself! The solar array at Coppersmith is one fine example of how we can work together effectively and produce benefit for all.”

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