Topsfield installs first solar-powered street light

The town of Topsfield installed its first solar-powered street light on Thursday. Pictured here with the new light are, from left, Mark Forant from Specline, Select Board member Dick Gandt, Select Board Vice Chair Lynne Bermudez, Town Administrator Kevin Harutunian, Highway Superintendent Gary Wildes, Select Board member Marshall Hook, and Select Board Chair John Spencer.

TOPSFIELD — The town of Topsfield has installed its first solar-powered street light.

The light was installed on Thursday morning outside 32 S. Main Street in downtown Topsfield. Officials described the light as a "first-of-its-kind" because its solar panel is wrapped around the top of the pole rather than the traditional flat panel box attached to the pole of most solar street lights.

Town Administrator Kevin Harutunian said in a press release that to the town's knowledge, Topsfield's installation was the "first ornamental style solar-powered street light used in a downtown in the Commonwealth."

The light was designed specifically for Topsfield by Speclines, a company in Sandwich. If the light proves to be a success, the town is planning to apply for a grant to purchase and install 19 more lights.

Officials said downtown Topsfield needs solar lighting because there is inadequate lighting and a lack of infrastructure to allow for traditional electrical-powered street lights to be installed.

"The light will provide safer mobility and a welcoming experience for pedestrians, bikers and vehicles, while also ensuring it adds to the charm and character of downtown Topsfield," Harutunian said in a press release. "This is an example of our commitment to innovative and sustainable solutions."

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