Already roughly 140 business and homeowners in Williamstown and Lee, MA, will go solar under the Solarize Mass group purchasing program in their area. That’s thanks to Real Goods Solar, which was selected by the state to carry out the Solarize Mass program in the two communities as well as in Northhampton.
The group purchasing program, which allows people going solar in participating communities to access PV discounts based on how many people in ther choose to participate, is now in its third year and is rolling out in an increasing number of Massachusetts cities and towns. Last year 17 communities participated in the program, resulting in more than 5,400 inquiries and ultimately 803 contracts and more than 5.1 megawatts of distributed PV generation in the state. This year 10 communities are participating in the first round of Solarize Mass and the state plans to launch eight to 10 more of the group purchasing programs later this year.
It’s not the first time that Real Goods Solar has participated in a Solarize campaign. “We’ve realized great success with previous Solarize programs, and we expect this one to be even stronger,” said Real Goods Solar CEO Kam Mofid. “Through the 2011 Solarize Mass Pilot program, Real Goods Solar helped Hatfield and Winchester Massachusetts collectively achieve more than 200 kilowatts of solar power capacity.” Nor is it the first state in which Real Goods participated in a Solarize program. “We were also able to more than double the amount of solar in Portland, Connecticut by installing more than 342 kilowatts through the Solarize Connecticut pilot program.”
Considering that the North Adams Township said that already 140 homeowners and businesses are awaiting site visits by Real Goods Solar, it looks like 2013 will eclipse the program’s successes in 2012. Particularly because Real Goods Solar’s Solarize Mass program is just starting to get underway for 2013 and it will run through Sept. 30, 2013. “Given the strong economic and environmental benefits, we anticipate strong participation with Solarize Mass, particularly in the designated ‘Green Communities’ of Northampton and Williamstown, and in the town of Lee,” Mofid said.
Solarize programs are designed to increase the adoption of solar energy and further reduce the overall cost of solar power. The program offers residents and businesses discounted pricing for solar through tiered community-based incentives. As more members of a particular community participate, greater savings can be enjoyed by all.
The first round of Solarize Mass 2013 includes programs in the communities of Bourne, Brookline, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Lee, Medford, Medway, Newton, Northampton and Williamstown. While Real Goods Solar is supporting the programs in three of the communities, other installers and financiers are supporting the projects in other communities.