MassCEC Announces Integrators Selected to Serve Four Solarize Massachusetts Pilot Communities.

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Craig Gilvarg
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Jun 10, 2011 –

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) today announced that it is partnering with Alteris Renewables, Munro Distributing and New England Breeze to provide services in for the Solarize Massachusetts pilot the towns of Hatfield, Harvard, Scituate and Winchester. 
In late April, 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. MassCEC will partner with the four integrators to provide education, free solar assessments, different ownership (or financing) models, and installation services in the Solarize Massachusetts pilot communities. Alteris Renewables will provide services for Solarize Massachusetts in the towns of Winchester and Hatfield. Munro Distributing will provide services in Scituate and New England Breeze will provide services in Harvard. 
Solarize Massachusetts is a new business model that MassCEC announced in April 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. 
 “We are well on our way to reaching Governor Patrick’s goal to install 250 megawatts of solar power in Massachusetts by 2017 – in the process building a new clean energy economy,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr., who chairs the MassCEC board of directors. “Shifting to a clean energy economy hinges, ultimately, on energy choices made by individuals, families, and businesses across the state. Solarize Massachusetts embodies that grassroots approach and has the potential to take the Patrick-Murray Administration’s efforts to a new level, catalyzing wider adoption of solar energy and greater energy independence through the power of community connections.”
“The innovative business models offered by these three companies will make installing solar photovoltaic easier and more affordable than ever before,” said MassCEC Executive Director Patrick Cloney. “By deploying these models and educating communities on solar, Solarize Massachusetts will put us one step closer to reaching Governor Patrick’s solar energy goals, and one step closer to making clean energy a marquee industry in Massachusetts, like life sciences, IT and financial services.” 
Through Solarize Massachusetts, MassCEC provides 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 a business model to reduce costs. MassCEC will provide technical support and host free educational meetings in the pilot communities to educate people about the benefits of installing solar and to drive interest in implementing the technology.
“The Commonwealth has led the nation in empowering cities and towns to create a greener energy future through the creation of the Green Communities Division and the Green Communities Designation and Grant program. With Solarize Mass, we are now empowering residents and businesses to also lead-by-example and participate in the clean energy economy,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia. 
"I'm pleased Harvard has been selected to be a part of the promising new Solarize Massachusetts program, which I hope will lead to the increased use of solar technology in our community - and, ultimately, a successful business model for expanding solar throughout the Commonwealth," said Senator Jamie Eldridge. 
“Solarize Massachusetts is a promising initiative that will have many environmental and economic benefits both for Scituate and for the Commonwealth. I look forward to seeing this pilot program get underway in the coming months,” said Senator Robert L. Hedlund.
"This represents yet another step toward a cleaner, more efficient, more sustainable future," said Senator Stan Rosenberg said. "The people involved with this project are demonstrating a remarkable ability to examine old problems with new eyes."
"Recently designated a Green Community, Harvard is continuing their commitment to clean energy by participating in the Solarize Massachusetts Program,” said Representative Jennifer Benson. I congratulate them on being chosen as part of the pilot program and know the community will benefit greatly from this partnership."
"I am pleased that the residents of the town of Scituate will be able to take part in this great program," said Representative Garrett Bradley.  "By allowing residents to group buy solar panels for their home it will allow more residents to have access to this technology."  "It is critical that we invest in green energy in the Commonwealth and the Solarize Massachusetts program will be a big step in that direction."
"Scituate has long been a leader in investigating clean energy sources, and I think this pilot program will be a great opportunity for folks to get more information to determine if solar power is a potential solution for their energy needs," said Representative Jim Cantwell.
"Winchester is excited to be a pilot community in the Solarize Mass program and looks forward to working with Alteris Renewables to assist residents and business owners with installing solar PV panels to reduce energy use and save money," said Representative Jason Lewis.
MassCEC and DOER solicited applications for the pilot program from designated Green Communities and selected at random one community from each region to participate. 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. 
As a result of the Commonwealth Solar rebate programs launched in 2008 and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for solar on water treatment facilities and other public buildings, Massachusetts is in the midst of a 30-fold increase in solar PV installations since 2007. Currently, there are nearly 45 MW of solar energy installed in Massachusetts, and an additional 40 MW under contract for installation by the end of this year - up from 3.5 MW when Governor Patrick took office. 
Commonwealth Solar rebate programs also helped spur a vibrant solar industry in Massachusetts. According to a MassCEC survey of clean energy companies, employment in solar manufacturing, installation, and services has more than doubled since Governor Patrick first took office, and solar manufacturing jobs alone have more than doubled from 2007 to 2010.