Public Invited to Solar Energy Open House at Roses for Autism Nursery June 11


Homeowners and businesses interested in solar energy are invited to a solar open house June 11 at Roses for Autism in Guilford. The event is co-sponsored by CT Solar Challenge and Guilford Energy Challenge.

The solar open house will be 1 to 3 p.m. at 929 Boston Post Road, Guilford. Roses for Autism Head Grower Tom Pinchbeck and Aegis Solar Energy, the chosen solar contractor for the Guilford Energy Challenge, will be on hand to show visitors the array and answer questions regarding solar. Refreshments will be served.

“This solar open house offers families an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with friends and neighbors reaping the benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency each and every day,” CT Solar Challenge Director Maggie Treichel said. “It’s a great way to get an up-close-and-personal perspective on how easy it can be to live the green life.”

CT Solar Challenge is a grassroots community-based program that partners with towns to promote solar energy through installation cost reduction, community outreach and education. Guilford Energy Challenge is affiliated with the program,.

In addition to the open house, Roses for Autism Director, Michelle Ouimette will give tours of the nursery and show off its inner workings. To sign up for the solar open house or the nursery tour, contact Treichel at or simply go to and register.

As an added attraction, New England Smart Energy Group (NESEG) will be on hand to discuss home energy efficiency options. NESEG will swap two old incandescent light bulbs for two new energy efficient LED bulbs at no cost while supplies last.

 Ouimette and Pinchbeck said they are eager to show off the solar array and want to encourage others to go solar. The array is designed to meet all the electricity needs of Pinchbeck’s home, which is on the property that Roses for Autism uses.

“We love our solar array and want to spread the word about renewable energy,” Pinchbeck said.  “After seeing and hearing about our system, we hope that others will take the solar plunge. Generous federal and state subsidies made installation extremely affordable. Once installed, the sun is free.”

The 7,000-watt solar array consists of 28 panels on the roof of a 150-year old barn near Pinchbeck’s home. The power is routed to the house via an underground conduit.

Roses for Autism (RFA) is a non-profit organization housed at the Pinchbeck Farm. Roses grown there are sold to benefit those with autism. The organization provides job training and employment opportunities for adults living with autism. CT Solar Challenge’s other partners include the shoreline communities of Madison, Guilford, Westbrook, Old Saybrook and Clinton along with seven other Connecticut towns.