Now in its third year, Solarize Mass, a partnership between the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the Green Communities Division of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and cities and towns across the commonwealth, has led to more than 900 residents and business owners signing contracts for small-scale solar electricity systems, while speaking with thousands more about the economic and environmental benefits of solar electricity, energy efficiency and other clean energy technologies.
On December 2, MassCEC and DOER announced the fifteen communities who will participate in the second round of the 2013 Solarize Mass program: Adams, Amherst, Andover, Great Barrington-Egremont, Lexington-Bedford,Needham, Salem-Swampscott, Watertown, Wellfleet, and Williamsburg-Whately-Chesterfield.
How it works
The Solarize Mass program looks to increase the adoption of small-scale solar electricity systems through a grassroots educational campaign, driven mainly by local volunteers, and a tiered pricing structure that increases the savings for everyone as more home and business owners in a community sign up.
Each participating community selects a designated solar installation company, which offers five tiers of pricing, with the savings for increasing for everyone as more contracts are signed.
Home and business owners who want to participate can either purchase the solar electricity systems directly or enter into a lease or power purchase agreement (PPA) with the installer. Under a lease or PPA, the installer will own, operate and maintain the system, while the home or business owner agrees to purchase the power generated by the system at an agreed-upon rate.
The 2011 and 2012 Solarize Mass program resulted in more than 6,000 individuals expressing interest in pursuing solar electricity, and over 900 residents and business owners in the 21 communities signing contracts to install over 5.6 megawatts of solar electricity. In addition, the number of small-scale solar electricity projects in almost every community doubled as a direct result of the program.