Representative Jeffrey N. Roy (D – Franklin) announced that Medway will participate in the first round of the 2013 Solarize Massachusetts program (Solarize Mass), a grassroots clean energy marketing, education and group-buying program. Roy is a member of the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change.
The program – run by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) – is designed to increase the adoption of solar energy and further reduce the overall cost of solar power, and offers residents and businesses discounted pricing for solar. The more people in a particular community who participate, the greater the savings for everyone in that city or town.
“Medway has made strides towards reducing municipal energy consumption, including becoming a Massachusetts Green Community and installing solar panels on the High School and Middle School,” noted Roy. “The town is committed to creating a green and energy efficient community and this grant will undoubtedly be an asset to making the town’s goals a reality.”
Solarize Mass is an innovative initiative sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (CEC) and the Green Communities Division of the Mass Department of Energy Resources (DOER). It provides a structured program for local residential and commercial property owners to access and install competitively priced small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The program will begin in May and the time period for site assessments and sign ups will run through September 30, 2013.
“This year’s program will build on the success of the last two years, saving residents and businesses money while creating local jobs,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan.
“This program brings together residents, local and state officials, and solar industry workers to form a truly grassroots effort,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton. “With everyone at the table, we can spread the word about the economic and environmental benefits of solar power across ten communities.”
“This new round of Solarize Mass continues to build on the clean energy leadership we’ve seen over and over again at the community level,” said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “When neighbors encourage neighbors, it creates local excitement and greater participation. This grassroots commitment is fueling Massachusetts leadership in energy efficiency, clean energy jobs growth, and renewable energy adoption.”
Last year, 17 cities and towns participated in Solarize Mass, with 749 residents and businesses signing contracts to install solar electricity systems with the capacity to generate 4.8 megawatts of clean, renewable energy – enough to power the equivalent of 719 average Massachusetts homes annually. During the 2012 Solarize Mass program, participating customers were able to purchase solar electricity systems for 20 percent less than the statewide average price at the beginning of the program. The program last year also created at least 32 new jobs.
Due to state renewable energy incentive programs like Solarize Mass, residential solar electricity prices dropped 28 percent in Massachusetts in 2012, according to a report issued by the Solar Energy Industries Association in March 2013. This was the second biggest drop in the nation last year.
Massachusetts set a goal of achieving 250 megawatts of solar PV by 2017. As a result of the Solarize Mass program and other incentives, the state is close to reaching its goal – with 220 megawatts of solar electricity installed to date, the equivalent of powering 33,000 homes for a year.