May 05, 2017

2017 Solarize Mass and Mass Solar Connect Programs Launched

Anna Sorokina, Solar Incentive Fellow

A windy, yet sunny afternoon on April 19 marked the launch of two MassCEC solar group purchasing programs, Solarize Mass 2017 and Mass Solar Connect. MassCEC and DOER representatives, as well as officials from the participating communities and organizations gathered in Brown Square in Newburyport to announce and congratulate program participants.

The opening ceremony symbolically took place in front of the dental office of Dr. Sam Merabi, who was the first Newburyport resident to install solar panels under one of the initial rounds of Solarize back in 2012. Dr. Merabi briefly shared his Solarize experience with attendees. Referring to solar system installation as “a tremendous weekend of work,” he highlighted the fact that only five years after interconnection, the system has already paid for itself.

Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday spoke of the program’s relevance in the city’s environmental and energy efforts. Since Newburyport is a community that relies on its harbor, MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike mentioned that its participation is even more relevant in the framework of climate change challenges. He also noted the timeliness of this launch as part of the Commonwealth’s Earth Week celebration.

Lincoln-Sudbury-Wayland, Newburyport, and Winthrop will participate in Solarize Mass, a community-based solar group purchasing program. While this will be the second time residents of Newburyport and Lincoln-Sudbury-Wayland can take advantage of solar discounted pricing, 2017 communities will, for the first time, have access to an additional clean technology. This is the pilot year for Solarize Mass Plus, which allows communities to pair solar panels with solar hot water, air source heat pumps, or electric vehicles.

Mass Energy Consumers Alliance (Mass Energy), the Cape and Islands Self Reliance Corporation (Self Reliance) and the Marion Institute will participate in Mass Solar Connect, a similar group purchasing model for nonprofit organizations and its members.

MassCEC and DOER are currently accepting community applications for the 2017 Solarize Mass and Solarize Mass Plus programs. MassCEC will accept community applications until program funds have been fully allocated. Applications will be evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis.