State energy officials today announced the selection of two additional communities, Bolton and Medfield, to participate in Solarize Mass for 2016. The community-based solar energy group-buying program is currently underway in Somerville, Natick and Shelburne, Colrain and Conway, with the latter three communities participating as a group.
“As Massachusetts looks to diversify its energy mix, partnering with local communities on programs like Solarize Mass drives down costs while reducing our carbon footprint and helping reach our goal of 1,600 megawatts of solar by 2020,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton.
A partnership between the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and local communities, Solarize Mass reduces the overall cost of solar in communities across the state, helping residents save as much as 20 percent on solar pricing (compared to the statewide average). Through a competitive bidding process, communities select designated Solarize Mass installers that feature the most attractive pricing, outreach and community education packages.
“Reducing the cost of solar makes the technology more affordable for homeowners across the state and DOER is proud to partner with these communities on this initiative,” said DOER Commissioner Judith Judson.
“Solar electricity provides environmental and economic benefits for homeowners and our communities,” said MassCEC Interim CEO Stephen Pike. “Solarize Mass makes solar electricity even more affordable and accessible for residents in cities and towns across the Commonwealth.”
Since its launch in 2011, 51 cities and towns have participated in Solarize Mass, which has led to the contracting of more than 2,600 new small-scale installations at homes and businesses resulting in 18 megawatts of contracted solar capacity. To date, systems installed under Solarize Mass have reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 1,500 cars off the road annually.
Massachusetts currently has 1,058 megawatts of solar capacity installed statewide, more than halfway to the Commonwealth’s goal of 1,600 megawatts installed by 2020 and enough to power more than 161,000 homes. MassCEC and DOER are currently accepting applications from communities interested in participating in the 2016 round of the Solarize Mass program. More information on the application process can be found here.
“I want to congratulate the town of Bolton on their participation with Solarize Mass,” said State Senator Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster). “Clean energy solutions are certainly starting to lead the way, and programs such as Solarize Mass are the perfect opportunity for communities to not only benefit from the cost effectiveness of solar, but to also get excited about clean energy in general.”
“The Town of Medfield has once again shown their commitment to forward-thinking cost-saving efforts for their citizens,” said State Senator Jim Timilty (D-Walpole). “There were many proposals for the Solarize Mass project submitted and I am thrilled that MassCEC and DOER saw fit to bring this important state program to my district.”
“I am proud to see that the Town of Bolton will be participating in the next round of Solarize Mass,” said State Representative Kate Hogan (D-Stow). “Our region has long been committed to clean energy solutions and Bolton’s participation in this program will further increase local solar power opportunities. Thank you to all of the stakeholders, volunteers, and committed citizens who worked together to achieve this goal.”
“The Town of Medfield is a leader in its commitment to provide choice and opportunity to residents seeking a variety of energy sources,” said State Representative Denise Garlick (D-Needham). “This initiative aids the homeowner and also strengthens the Commonwealth’s environment and economic development through employment opportunities.”
“Medfield is excited to be selected for the next Solarize Mass program,” said Andrew Seaman, Energy and Facilities Manager for the Town of Medfield. “The Town has made great strides towards diversifying their electric supply by developing solar on Town land, and we are happy to have a similar initiative in place for residents to add solar to their property.”
“Bolton is delighted to be recognized as a Solarize Massachusetts community by MassCEC and DOER,” said Tony Jagodnik, Bolton’s volunteer solar coach. “We look forward to increasing education, awareness, conservation, and local adoption of solar via a best-quality and value group purchase for our homes and businesses, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making the grid more-robust for everyone.”