Massachusetts wants more small solar projects to shine in towns and cities throughout the commonwealth.
It's already happening through the Solarize Massachusetts program, and now Salem and Swampscott are answering the commonwealth's call by jointly applying to the program.
Solarize uses coaches to teach residents about the power source's benefits. It uses incentives to boost savings on solar projects. And it drives down the cost of installing small solar units by buying in bulk.
Solar power has seen dramatic growth throughout the Commonwealth, thanks to programs and policies created under Governor Deval Patrick to meet his goal of 250 megawatts (MW) of solar power in the state by 2017, according to Salem and Swampscott officials.
Towns including Harvard, Hatfield, Scituate and Winchester have installed more than 150 small solar projects generating about 800 kW of clean energy since Solarize took wing in April of 2011, according to the Solarize Mass web site.
Now the officials say Salem and Swampscott — a designated Green Community in Massachusetts since 2010 — are going to jointly apply to this program.
The city and town want more solar power in the communities and are asking residents to take a short survey to be used in the application to Solarize Massachusetts.
“The Solarize Mass opportunity shows Salem’s continued commitment to supporting renewable energy opportunities in the community,” stated Mayor Kimberley Driscoll. “A residential and commercial program to make solar energy more widespread throughout the community, through an educational outreach and competitive pricing program, can help residents take advantage of renewable energy in their homes.”
Solarize Massachusetts is most successful in communities with a solid volunteer effort to educate and promote solar power.
The two communities will need a solar coach who will be the face and coordinator of the local effort – if their application is selected.
If you’re interested in solar power and are willing to take on this task, be sure to contact either Mr. Elie or Mr. Kane or provide your contact information in the survey. They’ll be able to provide you more details about what a Solar Coach is and what you should anticipate over the course of the program.
Contact for Salem’s Program:
Jeffrey Elie, Salem Energy and Sustainability Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact for Swampscott’s Program:
Peter Kane, Swampscott Energy Manager email@example.com
Please take a couple minutes to complete the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SolarizeMA
Solarize Massachusetts is an initiative of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER).