PITTSFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Rep. John W. Olver announced that the U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $1,000,000 to support the Berkshire Museum's 21st Century Energy Project on Wednesday.
Slated to be completed by September 2014, the $2,063,687 project will take advantage of advances in solar power, lighting, thermal barriers, energy efficient equipment, and capturing heat byproduct, among other means to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency measures into the museum's building systems.
"With its well-established track record of providing educational programs for schools and the public, the Berkshire Museum is poised to play a strong role in raising awareness about the importance of energy efficiency in a sustainable future," Olver said. "When the project is completed, the museum will be able to use its own building as a model to illustrate new approaches toward energy production and efficiency."
Bill Hines, Jr., president of the museum's board of trustees, thanked Olver for encouraging the museum to work with DOE to make the project a model for investment in energy efficient improvements in museums and older buildings.
"Lighting the exhibits and maintaining specific humidity and temperature levels are challenges to controlling energy in museums and especially so in a building built before energy efficiency was a critical issue," Hines said. "As we look forward to celebrating the museum's 110th anniversary next year, we are enthusiastic about bringing our energy environment into 21st century."
The Berkshire Museum will provide funds to share the cost of the project. Museum executive director Van Shields cited the recent $176,750 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund for a contemporary elevator as an example of new funds developed for the project.