Jack Hunter, Carver town planner, inspected the new installation along Route 44 before the thefts.
Jack Hunter, Carver town planner, inspected the new installation along Route 44 before the thefts.
Debee Tlumacki

Many say solar energy is the wave of the future, but in Carver, solar panels set up along a highway have fallen victim to an age-old problem: thievery.

The ground-breaking project built along Route 44 has lost 25 solar panels to thieves over the last week, Carver police said.

Two of the panels were stolen sometime Thursday night or early this morning, Police Chief Michael Miksch said.

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He said the panels started disappearing from the fenced-in area last week, but he isn’t sure of the thieves’ motives.

“They may be trying to resell them to a contractor or trying to use them for scrap, but the frames are so small there’s really not much of a scrap value to them.” Miksch said. “I don’t know why people wouldn’t just leave them alone.”

He said the highway is under the jurisdiction of State Police but that Carver officers are now patrolling the area as well.

The solar project is the first of its kind on the East Coast and produces power for the town’s water-treatment plant. There were a total of 330 panels in a 600-foot-long installation.

Carver’s town planner, Jack Hunter, told the Globe last month that the power supplied by the panels would save the town $3,000 a month.

The 600-foot stretch of panels was made possible by a $150,000 state grant and built by SolareAmerica LLC.