solar PV house, part of Solarize Mass

The 2012 Solarize Massachusetts program was a resounding success, responsible for the contracting of 803 new small-scale solar electricity systems in 17 communities across the state.

The group purchasing program, administered by DOER’S Green Communities Division and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), contracted for 5.1 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable energy capacity, enough to power the equivalent of 807 average Massachusetts homes.

Residents and small businesses across the 17 Solarize communities – Acton, Arlington, Boston, Hopkinton, Melrose, Mendon, Millbury, Montague, Newburyport, Palmer, Pittsfield, Lenox, Shirley, Sutton, Wayland, Sudbury and Lincoln – jumped at the chance to participate, lowering their monthly electric bills and reducing their carbon footprint at the same time.

Solarize Mass is designed to increase the adoption of solar electric – or photovoltaic (PV) – energy, and offers residents and businesses long-term discounted electricity pricing. These prices are lower than traditional sources of fossil fuel-based energy generation, and solar power comes without the environmental and public health costs of fossil fuels.

Solarize Mass encourages the adoption of small scale solar PV by allowing residents and businesses to access a five-tiered, bulk purchasing program in their communities. As more people in a particular community sign up, the price drops for all involved. Using a truly grassroots approach, Solarize Mass spreads the clean energy message through town residents who serve as volunteer solar coaches and events that communicate the economic and environmental benefits of going solar.

Continuing expansion of solar power across Massachusetts, MassCEC launched Round 1 of the 2013 Solarize Mass program in January with proposals from cities and towns (or teams of communities) due by 5 p.m. on February 20.