The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) today announced that 802 residents and businesses signed contracts to install solar electricity systems as part of the 2012 Solarize Massachusetts Program (Solarize Mass), which concluded Nov. 4.
The systems contracted through Solarize Mass constitute 5.1 megawatts of clean, renewable energy that will generate enough electricity to power 807 Massachusetts homes annually. The program also created 32 jobs, fueling an already expanding clean energy sector.
“The response to Solarize Mass this year was incredible,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. “Together with industry, government and the community at the table, this program helped hundreds of residents and businesses across the Commonwealth generate reliable, local sources of energy, while saving money in the process.”
The group buying program, designed to increase the adoption of solar energy and reduce its cost, offered residents and businesses discounted pricing for solar. The more people sign up, the lower the price drops.
“Others are duplicating this innovative program, which empowers communities to advocate for and take advantage of cost-effective, clean and local sources of energy for residents and businesses,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton McDevitt. “Saving money while avoiding the environmental and public health impacts of fossil-fuel based generation is an absolute win-win for the economy and the environment.”
This year, 17 communities – Acton, Arlington, Boston, Hopkinton, Lenox, Lincoln, Melrose, Mendon, Millbury, Montague, Newburyport, Palmer, Pittsfield, Shirley, Sudbury, Sutton and Wayland – participated in Solarize Mass, which encourages the adoption of small scale solar PV systems by allowing residents and businesses to access a five-tiered, bulk purchasing program in their communities. The communities are all Green Communities, a designation made by the Department of Energy Resources to communities that meet five clean energy requirements, including a commitment to reduce their energy use by 20 percent.
“Thanks to these leading Green Communities, affordable solar energy is available on Main Streets across Massachusetts,” said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia.
Contracts signed and capacity for other communities was:
Acton: 36 systems 188 kilowatts
Arlington: 157 systems 718 kilowatts
Boston: 116 systems 522 kilowatts
Hopkinton: 56 systems 368 kilowatts
Pittsfield/Lenox: 58 systems 465 kilowatts
Lincoln, Wayland/Sudbury: 137 systems 1.28 megawatts
Melrose: 79 systems 426 kilowatts
Mendon: 22 systems 171 kilowatts
Millbury/Sutton: 22 systems 165 kilowatts
Montague: 42 systems 180 kilowatts
Newburyport: 46 systems 423 kilowatts
Palmer: 17 systems 150 kilowatts
Shirley: 14 systems 70 kilowatts
Clean energy jobs in Massachusetts have grown by 11.2 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to the 2012 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report.