February 10, 2017

Natick Wraps-Up Highly Successful Solarize Mass Campaign

Chelsey Harmer, Solar Incentive Fellow

It may seem like the sun shines brighter in the Town of Natick, due to the recent surge of solar installations that have been appearing on residential rooftops. As part of MassCEC’s Solarize Mass program, Natick will be adding 156 installations totaling 1.2 MW of solar electricity to the Commonwealth. This is an impressive feat, considering the 252 small-scale installations existing in Natick prior to the Solarize Mass campaign.

Boston Solar was selected as the installer for the Solarize Mass Natick Campaign after a competitive bidding and interview process. Natick decided to pursue a tiered pricing system that decreased the collective price per watt if more residents signed contracts to install solar. Boston Solar also agreed to donate a system to a local non-profit if over 100 contracts were signed. With this ambitious goal in sight, local volunteers, led by the local Solarize Mass Natick Solar Coach Jay Turner and Municipal Representative Jillian Wilson-Martin, organized several events to educate Natick residents about the environmental and economic benefits to going solar.

After launching the campaign on May 19th, 2016, Natick wrapped up its Solarize program on October 1st with a record breaking amount of contracted capacity added to the community. Natick was able to reach their highest tier, and as a result, Boston Solar will be donating a photovoltaic system to a local non-profit organization worth $25,000.

The Solarize Mass program is a collaboration between the MassCEC and the Green Communities Division of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). Now entering its seventh round since its launch in 2011, the program provides Massachusetts residents with access to reduced cost Solar PV through a group purchase model and fosters the growth of small-scale solar electricity through outreach and education campaigns, run almost entirely by local volunteers. A total of 51 communities have participated in the program between 2011 and 2015, with 12 additional communities currently participating in the 2016 round. Since its launch, Solarize Mass has helped over 2,800 homeowners go solar!

Natick is the first community in the 2016 round of Solarize Mass to finish their campaign; Bolton, Medfield, Shelburne-Conway-Colrain, Somerville, Upton, and Windsor-Cummington-Goshen-Worthington all have campaigns underway. The 2017 Solarize Mass Program is currently accepting applications for new communities; interested communities can apply here.