MassCEC Announces Harvard Reaches More than 200 kW of Solar in the Solarize Mass Pilot

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Craig Gilvarg
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Sep 28, 2011 –

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) today announced that 42 residents or businesses have contracted with New England Breeze to install solar photovoltaic (PV) projects through MassCEC’s Solarize Mass pilot. The projects will total 219 kW of solar in Harvard, allowing residents and business owners to install solar at a further discounted rates through Solarize Mass. 
“Congratulations to the town of Harvard for surpassing this milestone, ensuring the community lower price points on solar power that will likely spur even greater adoption of solar power,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr., who chairs the MassCEC board. “As of today, Massachusetts has nearly 60 megawatts of solar power installed – and Solarize Mass is another way we are spreading the solar revolution across the state.”  
“Solarize Massachusetts is not only teaching residents and business owners in these four towns that solar energy is a viable way to manage energy costs and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, but it is also helping drive down costs of solar across the state,” said MassCEC Executive Director Patrick Cloney. “I am thrilled to see the level of enthusiasm that these four communities have shown towards their clean energy future.”
"Harvard, designated a Green Community by the Department of Energy Resources, has demonstrated once again what can happen when a community comes together at the grassroots level to achieve its clean energy goals.  As soon as they were selected to participate, the Harvard municipal team and Energy Committee hit the ground running with outreach to their residents on the Solarize Mass program.   They are a true example of how we are going to create a cleaner energy future for Massachusetts – community by community," said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia.
As part of the Solarize Mass pilot MassCEC issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for bulk purchasing business models from solar integrators in which installation costs are based on a tiered structure that provide lower costs with increased capacity of solar installed within the community. New England Breeze was selected as the Solarize installer for Harvard, and is the first installer to reach 200 kW through the program.
Due to soaring demand MassCEC has extended the deadline for Solarize Mass. Harvard residents will be able to take advantage of the Solarize Mass pricing achieved by September 30 through October 31. This extension will allow residents to sign proposals they have received at the Solarize price tier achieved by September 30th. Contracts signed after September 30th will not help lower solar PV pricing in Harvard, but the extension through October 31 will enable more Harvard residents and business to take advantage of extremely competitive pricing.
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"Achieving Tier 3 pricing shows the Harvard's commitment to renewable energy and is great news for Harvard residents that have elected to install solar PV,” said Solarize Mass Harvard Organizer Jim Elkind. “More importantly, this milestone validates the potential for communities, the state, and businesses to partner to markedly increase the adoption of renewable energy."
"Interest in the Solarize Mass program in Harvard has really picked up in the last several weeks as the program deadline approaches.  There is real excitement about how many solar homes will be in town," said Solarize Mass Harvard Program Manager Kristen Ferguson.
“Harvard’s continued leadership in the Solarize Massachusetts program is great news for my constituents, more of whom will now have a clean, reliable source of electricity, and for the Commonwealth as a whole whose forwarding-looking energy policies are creating good, green jobs in Massachusetts, which reduce our dependence on out-of-state energy sources.” said State Senator Jamie Eldridge.
“Harvard continues to provide leadership to the Commonwealth by proving this program can make a difference on a home by home basis. This model proves that individuals, when given support and tools, can have a large positive influence on our future environment,” said Representative Jennifer Benson.
Solarize Massachusetts was launched in four pilot communities in Massachusetts this spring to encourage residents and business owners to adopt solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. MassCEC, in partnership with the Green Communities Division of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) selected the communities of Harvard, Hatfield, Scituate, and Winchester to participate in the model, which leverages education, grassroots marketing, and group purchasing to accelerate the adoption of solar PV. MassCEC has provided education and marketing support to help the four communities implement a community-wide solar PV program for residential and small-scale commercial projects, and deploy bulk-purchasing business model to reduce costs.