At the end of February 2018, the communities of Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland completed a seven-month program to educate community members about clean energy and to increase installation of solar photovoltaics (solar electricity or PV) and solar hot water. The program, Solarize Mass Plus, is a pilot program based on Solarize Mass, which has run in 66 Massachusetts communities since 2011. Prior to 2017, communities campaigned to adopt solar electricity primarily, but with these new Solarize Mass Plus programs, participating communities have the option to initiate campaigns for additional clean energy technologies—solar hot water, air-source heat pumps, or electric vehicles—in combination with the traditional campaign for solar PV installations. Lincoln-Sudbury-Wayland selected SolarFlair and New England Solar Hot Water as their solar PV and solar hot water installers respectively, through a competitive bidding process, a key component of the program. The program is supported by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Department of Energy Resources (DOER).
Notably these three communities completed a Solarize Mass program in 2012 when the model primarily promoted solar PV. Building off their success in 2012 the three-community team decided it was time to take on a new challenge.
Through the 2017-2018 program, LSW residents collectively contracted for 80 total clean technology systems. 53 solar PV systems were installed, increasing capacity by 407 kilowatts, reducing carbon emissions equivalent to taking 71 cars off the road annually. Proving the value of the model, participants contracted for 27 solar hot water systems, equivalent to the carbon emissions reduction for removing 27 cars from the road.
“A Solarize campaign always involves a community of hard-working volunteers,” says Kaat Vander Straeten, two-time Wayland solar coach. “Doing this a second time around also raised the stakes for us. So we love to hear that our efforts paid off, and we know that they will keep paying off, as more neighbors see solar in their streets and become curious and involved. It’s that way with renewables: they are a gift that keep on giving. ”
Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland should be proud of this successful program, which demonstrated the value of the paired model and their dedication to reducing their collective carbon footprint. Congratulations to all involved!
To learn more about how your community can get involved, click here.