The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) today announced the launch of the 2013 Solarize Massachusetts (Solarize Mass®) program. Communities wanting to participate in the grassroots marketing, education and group buying program can now submit applications.
The program designed to increase the adoption of solar energy, further reduce the overall cost of solar power – offers residents and businesses discounted pricing for solar. The more people sign up, the greater the savings for everyone.
“This bulk purchasing program not only saves residents and businesses money, it creates local jobs and expands our use of home-grown energy sources,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan.
“We’re excited to build on the momentum of last year’s program, which brought together state and local officials with residents, volunteers and the solar industry,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton McDevitt. “By bringing everyone to the table, we were able to spread the word about the economic and environmental benefits of solar power.”
The program is open to all Massachusetts communities, including those designated by DOER as Green Communities, which meet five clean energy requirements and commit to reducing energy use by 20 percent.
“I expect the 2013 Solarize Mass program to build on the incredible growth in solar installations in Massachusetts last year,” said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “This community-based model will continue to make clean, renewable power available in homes and businesses in an exciting and accessible way.”
Individual cities, towns and groups of contiguous municipalities can apply by downloading a request for proposals and applying by Feb. 20
DOER will host a webinar detailing the program and answering questions at 1 p.m. on Jan. 23. To register for the webinar, visit https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/787928799
Last year, 17 cities and towns participated in the program, with 803 residents and businesses signing contracts to install solar electricity systems with the capacity to generate 5.1 megawatts of clean, renewable energy – enough to power the equivalent of 807 average Massachusetts homes annually.
The program was also directly responsible for the creation of 32 new jobs, boosting an already booming clean energy sector that saw 11.2 percent job growth in Massachusetts from 2011 to 2012, according to the 2012 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report.
Under the leadership of Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, Massachusetts set a goal of achieving 250 megawatts of solar PV by 2017. As a result of the Solarize Mass program and other incentives the state is more than halfway to its goal – with 194 megawatts of solar PV installed to date, the equivalent of powering 30,684 homes for a year or cutting the emissions equivalent to taking 20,858 cars off the road.
Massachusetts lies at the end of the energy pipeline – lacking indigenous supplies of coal, natural gas and oil. As a result, Massachusetts has some of the highest energy costs in the nation. Of the $22 billion Massachusetts spends annually on energy, $18 billion of that goes to out-of-state and foreign sources. Increasingly, the state’s base of renewable energy through programs like Solarize Mass keeps more of that money in the local economy, while creating jobs at the same time.