For Immediate Release - September 12, 2013

Second Round of 2013 Massachusetts Solar Incentive Program Opens for Applications

Solarize Mass program seeks at least eight communities to participate

BOSTON – September 12, 2013 – The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) today announced the second round of the 2013 Solarize Massachusetts (Solarize Mass®) program is now accepting applications from cities and towns interested in participating.

“This bulk purchasing program has saved residents and businesses money, while aiding in the Patrick Administration’s goal of creating local jobs and expanding our use of home-grown energy sources,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. “We’re excited to find the next round of Solarize Mass communities.”

The program – designed to increase the adoption of solar energy and further reduce the overall cost of solar power – offers residents and businesses discounted pricing for solar. The more people who sign up, the greater the savings are for everyone.

“The momentum around this program has been building since it was launched in 2011,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton. “Community-by-community, we’re working with local leaders and volunteers to spread the word on the economic and environmental benefits of solar power.”

The program is open to all Massachusetts communities, including those designated by DOER as Green Communities, a designation made by DOER to cities and towns that meet five clean energy requirements, including a commitment to reduce their energy use by 20 percent.

“Solarize Mass continues to fulfill the desire of so many individuals, businesses and communities to be part of Massachusetts’ clean energy revolution,” said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “This program provides the pathway to do that in a smart, engaging way that benefits them and future generations at the same time.”

The program is open to all Massachusetts communities, including those designated by DOER as Green Communities, a designation made by DOER to cities and towns that meet five clean energy requirements. By statute, those requirements include adoption by the municipality of "as-of-right" siting and expedited permitting for renewable energy projects."

The first round of the 2013 Solarize Mass program is underway now in 10 communities: Bourne, Brookline, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Lee, Medford, Medway, Newton, Northampton and Williamstown.

Individual cities, towns and groups of contiguous municipalities can apply for the second round by downloading a request for proposals and applying by Oct. 22.

MassCEC and DOER expect to select at least eight communities or groups of communities to participate in this round of the program.

In the first two years of the Solarize Mass program, 21 cities and towns participated in the program, contracting more than 900 solar electricity systems with more than 5.5 megawatts of solar energy capacity.

Through programs like Solarize Mass, Massachusetts reached Governor Patrick’s ambitious goal of installing 250 megawatts of solar electricity capacity four years earlier than the 2017 deadline.

At an April event commemorating the achievement, Gov. Patrick announced a new goal of installing 1,600 megawatts of solar capacity by 2020. Once the goal is reached, solar electricity systems across the Commonwealth will generate enough electricity to power 240,000 average Massachusetts homes.

About Solarize Mass

Solarize Mass, which is a partnership between the MassCEC and DOER’s Green Communities Division, encourages the adoption of small scale solar projects.  Follow the Twitter hash tag #SolarizeMass for more information.

About MassCEC

Created by the Green Jobs Act of 2008, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has as its mission to foster the growth of the Massachusetts clean energy industry by providing seed grants to companies, universities, and nonprofit organizations; funding job training and workforce development programs; and, as home of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, supporting the installation of renewable energy projects throughout the state.

About DOER

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) develops and implements policies and programs aimed at ensuring the adequacy, security, diversity, and cost-effectiveness of the Commonwealth’s energy supply within the context of creating a cleaner energy future. DOER is an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.