Pittsfield & Lenox Reach Tier 3 in Solarize Mass

Aug 9, 2012 –
Boston

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)  is pleased to announce that the Green Communities of Pittsfield and Lenox, who are participating in Solarize Mass as a group, have reached the threshold of contracted projects to reach Tier 3 of pricing, with two months left to go before the deadline.  The Solarize Mass program offers a tiered pricing structure that provides increasing discounts as more people participate. These two towns now have contracts for 8 separate systems, representing 54.25 kW of new capacity, which allows all customers to receive Tier 3 pricing.  For Pittsfield and Lenox, Tier 3 pricing is $3.90/watt, which is 20 percent lower than the average installed cost for small PV systems in the Commonwealth.
“Solarize Massachusetts is producing direct benefits for homeowners and small businesses who are locking in favorable electricity rates for decades to come, and creating jobs for the people who are helping them do it,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan.

Astrum Solar, whose Massachusetts operations are based in Hopkinton, was selected by a committee of local volunteers and municipal officials, with input from state officials, to serve as the designated installer for Pittsfield and Lenox. Astrum works in close contact with volunteer “solar coaches” in each of those towns.   The community solar coach plays a critical role in engaging the community and spurring participation in the Solarize Massachusetts program throughout the summer. The Community Solar Coaches for Pittsfield and Lenox are Nate Joyner and Susan May, respectively. The Municipal Representatives for the program are Pittsfield Parks and Open Space Manager Jim McGrath, and Lenox Sustainability Coordinator Adele Gravitz.

"I am thrilled to see such an enthusiastic response from the people of Pittsfield," said Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier. "Solarize Mass is a great program that will make a real difference in greening our community while saving our residents real dollars."

“Solarize Mass has proven to be an effective catalyst for increasing the amount of solar PV in the Commonwealth, generating power without any emissions, and creating jobs for people in Massachusetts,” said Eric Macaux, Senior Director of Strategy and Legal Affairs of MassCEC.  “I applaud Pittsfield and Lenox for reaching Tier 3 pricing, and look forward to seeing many more Solarize communities maximize the savings available to them in the Solarize Mass program in the coming months.”

"The Pittsfield team is very excited about reaching Tier 3 and said Nate Joyner, the Pittsfield Community Solar Coach. “We want to take this opportunity to encourage Pittsfield and Lenox residents to talk to their friends and neighbors to get our community to that Tier 5 pricing by September.  We feel that reaching Tier 3 so quickly is a testament to the interest and enthusiasm Solarize is generating in Pittsfield and Lenox and we look forward to sharing this opportunity with everyone in our community interested in solar.

Solarize Mass, which is a partnership among the MassCEC and the Green Communities Division of the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), encourages the adoption of small scale solar PV by deploying a coordinated education, marketing and outreach effort, combined with a tiered pricing structure that provides increased savings as more people in the community go solar.  MassCEC provides technical support and hosts free educational meetings in the participating communities to educate people about the benefits of installing solar and to drive interest in implementing the technology.  

MassCEC and DOER launched Solarize Mass last year as a pilot program in four Green Communities, leading to 162 new contracts signed. Seventeen Green Communities - Acton, Arlington, Boston, Hopkinton, Melrose, Mendon, Millbury, Montague, Newburyport, Palmer, Pittsfield, Lenox, Shirley, Sutton, Wayland, Sudbury and Lincoln – were selected in April to participate in phase two of the program, which runs through September.