A “Solarbration” on the Seacoast

Representatives young and old from the public and private sectors pose with Governor Hassan for a celebratory photo in front of Throwback Brewery. Throwback is committed to supporting local farms and other sustainable practices-check it out at 7 Hobbs Road in North Hampton, NH!

Hope is a powerful force, perhaps one of the strongest known to man. It can inspire great change and lead to huge accomplishments, and one need look no further than the recent passing of HB1116 in the spring of 2016 as living proof.

Hope was the dominant energy in the air at the ceremonial signing of this bill on August 29th. Not only did this legislation double New Hampshire’s net metering cap from 50MW to 100MW, but it demonstrated that bi-partisan support for clean energy legislation isn’t just a dream; it’s a reality.

I was fortunate enough to attend this ceremonial signing at the majestic Throwback Brewery in North Hampton, New Hampshire. It is the largest solar powered brewery in the state, described by one speaker as the perfect combination of classic, picturesque New England farm and sleek, modern technology. The solar panels, supplying about half of the brewery’s energy use, blend so seamlessly on the roof of the main farm building that any onlooker has no choice but to think the original 1860’s architect designed it with solar in mind.

Children observe Governor Hassan signing HB1116 while other attendees watch with varying degrees of hope, relief, and excitement for the future.

I could go into detail about the many facts and statistics tossed around during the event, but we’ve heard them before, and I think the more valuable takeaways are as follows:

1. Clean energy is gaining rapid momentum in our state, and has a broad, dedicated, and passionate support base

2. The current energy status quo isn’t going to cut it-and change is coming

3. A clean energy future for NH is on the horizon-HB1116 wasn’t the end; it was just the beginning

As I reflect back on the event, I’m struck by how it changed my perspective in a huge way. I think that for many who are heavily involved with a certain topic, industry, or anything we encounter often in our daily lives, the novelty and excitement can start to take a backseat. Sort of like a “sure, we’ve seen businesses put solar up before, it’s nothing new” mentality.

Throwback changed this for me. Surrounding me was a local business still in its infant stages, but already determined to incorporate sustainable practices and clean energy (they even crafted a new “Solar and Sunflowers” beer to celebrate). Don’t fall into the trap of being bored by a new project announcement-recognize that each one is a victory and worth celebrating.

I challenge everyone who feels like they’ve seen it all to reinvigorate that excitement and hope that got you involved with clean energy, or any other aspect of your life, in the first place! Challenge the boredom you’ve been encountering with a hobby and look at it with a new light, and reconnect with why you loved it in the first place. You’ll be amazed how it feels.

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