MassCEC Launches $1 Million Program to Lower Cost of Commercial Solar Hot Water Systems

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Craig Gilvarg
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Dec 13, 2012 –

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton McDevitt today announced a new program to assist commercial or non-profit building owners in reducing their water heating bills up to 20 percent by installing solar hot water systems.
The program, a partnership between MassCEC and Medford-based Paradigm Partners, will help building owners install solar hot water systems on their roofs with little or no upfront costs. MassCEC will provide a $250,000 grant for the program, with Paradigm Partners providing $250,000 in in-kind services, while also leveraging more than $800,000 in private investment.
Under this new model, private third parties will install, own and operate the solar hot water systems, which use the sun to preheat water for a variety of building uses, displacing fossil fuel use. The building owner then agrees to purchase the energy generated by the system at a competitive and stable rate.
“By pioneering a third-party ownership model, this program will drive down or eliminate upfront cost to building owners who install commercial solar hot water systems,” said Barton McDevitt. “By making commercial solar hot water systems more affordable to building owners, we can increase their adoption and help create a cleaner energy future for everyone.”
Paradigm Partners – a turnkey provider of renewable heating and cooling systems – will be responsible for deploying between six and 10 large-scale systems throughout the state.
“We’re excited to deploy new strategies that directly replace expensive, dirty and inefficient fossil fuels like heating oil,” said Michael Hogan, managing partner at Paradigm Partners. “I applaud MassCEC for continuing to lead the country by focusing on the most critical point in the value chain, where energy users benefit from clean technology on their buildings.”
“This is great news for the solar heating and cooling industry. Massachusetts is one of the fastest-growing markets for solar heating and cooling, and this new commercial program will lead to more local jobs,” said Carrie Hitt, vice president of state affairs at Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “There are 50 solar heating and cooling companies located in Massachusetts, including at least six manufacturing sites, representing jobs along all sectors of the solar supply chain.”