This week, Kim and Mark Reichelt of Wayland became the first residents to contract for a solar PV installation at their home through this year’s Solarize Massachusetts program.
"We are very excited to be installing solar panels on our home. We looked into doing it a few years ago, but since then there have been significant improvements in both the price and the technology,” said Ms. Reichelt. “With the discounts from the Solarize program, the installation makes financial sense. Even with all our trees, our installation is going to pay for itself in about seven years. I hope to see solar panels going up all over town!"
Solarize Mass, which is a partnership among the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (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 with a pilot program targeting four DOER-designated Green Communities: Hatfield, Harvard, Scituate and Winchester. The program led to 162 new contracts, representing 829 kW of new solar power, signed by residents and business owners. Seventeen additional 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.
“Solarize Massachusetts is an important part of our effort to move beyond energy reform, to energy revolution,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan.
“This contract symbolizes electricity generated in Massachusetts without any emissions, and represents jobs for people hired in Massachusetts to sell, install, and maintain solar PV systems in Massachusetts,” said Patrick Cloney, Chief Executive Officer of MassCEC. “We look forward to seeing many more projects in the coming months.”
Astrum Solar was selected by a committee of local volunteers, with input from state officials, to serve as the designated installer for Wayland, Sudbury and Lincoln, and is working in close contact with volunteer solar coaches in each of those towns.
“This program rewards neighbors who join together to make a commitment to a renewable, home-grown, and environmentally-friendly source of energy,” said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “I am pleased we are able to offer this opportunity to designated Green Communities that are already leading the way toward a clean energy future for our state.”
"We are pleased to take part in this important initiative as we continue to serve Massachusetts homeowners through our Hopkinton office," said Michelle Waldgeir, Astrum Solar's vice president of marketing. "The Solarize Mass program will be instrumental in helping more Wayland, Lincoln and Sudbury residents transition from traditional energy consumers to clean energy producers."