February 10, 2017

A Bright Future for Solarize Mass Communities

Julia Guilardi, Multimedia Fellow

It’s no mystery that Massachusetts is a national leader in solar energy: state government officials are committed to reaching the goal of 1,600 megawatts (MW) of solar by 2020. Right now, Massachusetts is over halfway to that number, with 1,058 MW of solar currently installed — for reference, that’s enough to power more than 161,000 homes. However, with the continued expansion of the Solarize Mass program, solar installations are only expected to increase. 

Solarize Mass – which is a partnership between MassCEC, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and local communities – was launched in 2011 with the mission of reducing the overall cost of solar across the Commonwealth and educating residents about the environmental and economic benefits of solar. The program is now in its fifth year, and the results speak for themselves. Fifty-one cities and towns have been selected to participate the initiative, and residents of these communities are saving as much as 20 percent on solar, compared to the statewide average. There have been over 2,600 new small-scale installations for business and homes, creating 18 MW of solar capacity. Solar systems installed under Solarize Mass have reduced greenhouse gas emissions at the equivalent of 1,500 cars being removed from the road each year.

MassCEC and DOER are excited to welcome two new communities into the program: Bolton and Medfield, which will join the 2016 Solarize communities already announced: Somerville, Natick, Shelburne, Conway and Colrain. Residents and officials of these cities and towns are thrilled to be a part of an initiative that benefits not only their environment, but their bank accounts as well.

Is your community interested in participating in Solarize Mass? You can find more information about how to apply and about the selection process here