State Energy Officials Announce Five New Communities to Join Solar Program

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Solarize Mass Program Lowers Costs of Installing Solar Electric Systems
Jun 3, 2016 –
Boston

Massachusetts state energy officials today announced the selection of five new communities, Upton and a partnership of Windsor, Cummington, Goshen and Worthington, as the final municipalities to participate in Solarize Mass for 2016.  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 20 percent on solar pricing compared to the statewide average. 

“By joining Solarize Mass, our partner communities reinforce their commitment to helping the Commonwealth continue to lead the way on clean energy, while saving homeowners money on their monthly energy bills,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is committed to working with all stakeholders to increase access to affordable solar energy.”

“We are dedicated to working with cities and towns across the Commonwealth to help them achieve their clean energy goals,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “It is only through continued joint efforts by state and local partners that Massachusetts will continue to lead the country in embracing solar and other clean energy alternatives.”

Since its launch in 2011, 51 cities and towns have participated in Solarize Mass, which has led to the contracting of more than 2,600 new small-scale installations at homes and businesses resulting in 18 megawatts of contracted solar capacity. To date, systems installed under Solarize Mass have reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 1,500 cars off the road annually.

“The Solarize Mass program allows us to partner with communities across the Commonwealth as we look to diversify our energy mix, drive down the cost of renewable energy and reduce our carbon footprint,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton.

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 Somerville, Natick, Bolton, Medfield and Shelburne, Colrain and Conway, with the latter three communities participating as a group. 

“Massachusetts is on the forefront of clean energy innovation and Solarize Mass allows municipalities across the Commonwealth access to affordable, clean solar technology,” said DOER Commissioner Judith Judson. “Our partner communities are a lynchpin in ensuring that Massachusetts continues our progress towards greater solar electricity integration.”

“Solarize Mass has made solar electricity more affordable for thousands of homeowners in communities across the Commonwealth,” said MassCEC Interim CEO Stephen Pike. “We look forward to partnering with these communities to continue the success of the Solarize Mass program.” 

Massachusetts currently has 1,093 megawatts of solar capacity installed statewide, more than halfway to the Commonwealth’s goal of 1,600 megawatts installed by 2020 and enough to power more than 166,000 homes.

"Western Mass continues to lead the way on clean energy” said State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield). “It’s great to see the Solarize program recognize this innovative four-town partnership. Solar is working in Massachusetts and these communities are the proof."

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the residents of Upton— a community that has made significant strides at pursuing innovations to support the green economy,” said State Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury).  “I applaud efforts by MassCEC and DOER in helping to bring these ideas and programs to fruition. As the Commonwealth continues to look ahead toward sustainable energy options, it is important that these opportunities are affordable to local residents.”

“This amazing opportunity will not only help residents and businesses of our district save on their overall utility costs, but will also be making a positive impact on our planet,” said State Representative David Muradian, (R-Grafton). “It is very exciting that Upton was one of the five chosen communities to partner with Solarize Mass, and I look forward to continuing to work with them.”

"I thank the Baker-Polito Administration for once again selecting a group of small, rural communities to participate in the Solarize Mass program,” said State Representative Stephen Kulik, (D-Worthington).  People in these towns have a lot of enthusiasm for solar energy and reducing their dependence on fossil fuels.  I know that being in the Solarize Mass program will help many people install solar energy systems and help to advance our state's green energy goals."

“We have been working hard to position ourselves to execute a great marketing plan and feel our collaborative effort will bring a meaningful and profound difference to our hilltown communities,” said Jan Bradley, Project Leader for the Windsor, Cummington, Goshen and Worthington partnership. “Solarize Mass will not only provide residents with the opportunity to obtain affordable solar panels, it will enable this generation of residents to save money and the next generation to save the environment.”

"Upton is pleased to have been selected to participate in the Solarize Mass program,” said Jim Brochu, chairman of the Upton Board of Selectmen. “We know that there are many Upton residents interested in installing solar energy systems to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions and this program will help them do it more cost effectively.”