Baker-Polito Administration Announces City of Lowell Joins State Solar Program

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Solarize Mass Program Lowers Costs of Installing Solar Electric Systems
Jul 30, 2018 –
LOWELL

The Baker-Polito Administration today announced the selection of the City of Lowell to participate in the 2018 Solarize Mass Plus program to promote the adoption of solar technology and air source heat pumps among residents. A partnership between the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and local communities, Solarize Mass reduces the overall cost of solar in municipalities across the state, helping residents save as much as 21 percent on solar pricing compared to the statewide average. 

“Communities across Massachusetts are helping the Commonwealth establish a nation-leading clean energy economy, while increasing access to cost-cutting technologies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Through the Solarize Mass program, our administration is partnering with local municipalities to make solar more affordable for Massachusetts residents.”

“By partnering with the City of Lowell on this program, we are helping bring clean energy to its residents while progressing towards our ambitious climate goals,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Massachusetts is leading the country in solar and by working with our communities to lower costs we can continue to drive the Commonwealth’s vibrant clean energy industry forward.”

The Solarize Mass program looks to increase the adoption of small-scale solar electricity systems through a grassroots educational campaign, driven mainly by local volunteers and reduced pricing that increases the savings for participants. 

Since its launch in 2011, 64 cities and towns have participated in Solarize Mass, which has led to the contracting of more than 3,300 new small-scale installations at homes and businesses resulting in 22.3 megawatts of contracted solar capacity. To date, systems installed under Solarize Mass have reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 1,800 cars off the road annually.

“Solarize Mass lowers the cost of solar by embracing an innovative group-buying model, making clean energy more affordable for residents while diversifying the Commonwealth’s energy portfolio,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Installing solar power and other clean energy technologies brings numerous benefits to communities across the Commonwealth, including lower energy bills, decreased dependence on fossil fuels and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.”

Through a competitive bidding process, communities select designated Solarize Mass installers that feature the most attractive pricing, outreach and community education packages. Solarize Mass programs are currently underway in Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown.

The Solarize Mass Plus program, first piloted in 2017, pairs the Solarize Mass model with an additional technology offering, like solar hot water or air source heat pumps. 

“Massachusetts is home to a robust solar marketplace because of initiatives like Solarize Mass and our municipal partners,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “DOER is proud to partner with the City of Lowell and communities across the Commonwealth to drive down the costs of solar while reducing emissions.”

“Solarize Mass has expanded access to solar electricity for homeowners across the Commonwealth,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “We look forward to partnering with the City of Lowell and its network of local volunteers to bring the benefits of solar and air-source heat pumps to this growing hub of clean energy activity.”

Massachusetts currently has 2,176 megawatts of solar capacity installed statewide, enough to power more than 344,000 homes.

“I applaud this partnership between the city of Lowell and the Baker-Polito administration to bring the benefits of solar and air source heat pumps to the city at an affordable cost,” said State Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr. (D-Lowell), Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy.  “The Solarize Massachusetts model has been a great success in over 60 municipalities, and I look forward to the benefits that it will bring to businesses and residents in our community.”