Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and the Baker-Polito Administration have announced that Salem has been selected to participate in the 2019 Solarize Mass program to promote the adoption of clean energy technologies. A partnership between the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and local communities, Solarize Mass reduces the overall cost of solar in municipalities across the state, helping residents save as much as 21 percent on average on solar pricing compared to the statewide average.
“Our administration is proud to continuing partnering with cities and towns across the Commonwealth to increase access to cost-effective clean energy technologies through the Solarize Mass program,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This innovative partnership with municipalities and state agencies reinforces the Commonwealth’s growing clean energy sector, saves people money and reduces emissions.”
“We are excited to partner with DOER and MassCEC to offer solar, solar hot water, and air source heat pumps to the residents of Salem at a reduced price,” said Mayor Driscoll. “Solarize Mass Plus provides affordable access to these clean energy technologies, saving residents money on their energy bills and reducing our emissions citywide. It continues our ongoing work to reduce our own local carbon footprint, including through the conversion of our streetlights to LED fixtures, our electricity supply aggregation, and rooftop solar on city buildings.”
The Solarize Mass Plus program aims to increase the adoption of small-scale solar electricity systems and additional clean energy technologies such as battery storage, air source heat pumps, solar hot water, or electric vehicles through a grassroots educational campaign, driven mainly by local volunteers, and reduced pricing that increases the savings for participants as more units are sold.
Since its launch in 2011, 75 cities and towns have participated in Solarize Mass and Solarize Mass Plus, which has led to the contracting of more than 3,400 new small-scale installations at homes and businesses resulting in 23 megawatts of contracted solar capacity. To date, systems installed under Solarize Mass have reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 1,900 cars off the road annually.
The City of Salem has previously participated in the Solarize Mass program, in 2014. In that year, 35 solar systems were installed at residences around the community, resulting in 215.43 kW of capacity. In all there are over 500 installations of solar panels in Salem. In 2016 the City adopted a 100% Renewable Energy Resolution and participation in this program will help move the community even closer to that goal.
This year, Salem will partner with Swampscott and Nahant to provide discounted access to solar, solar hot water, and air source heat pumps. Additional grant support was provided to help promote the technologies especially to low- and moderate-income homeowners. A series of public information events will be held, starting in the Fall, as well as informational opportunities at events such as the Salem Farmers’ Market, neighborhood association meetings, and more.
More information, including a form to sign up to stay informed as the program advances, can be found online at www.solarizenorthshore.org.
Through a competitive bidding process, communities select designated Solarize Mass installers that feature the most attractive pricing, outreach, and community education packages. The Solarize Mass Plus program, first piloted in 2017, pairs the Solarize Mass model with an additional technology offering, such as solar hot water or air source heat pumps.
“Our goal is to create a clean, affordable and resilient energy future for our residents and that’s exactly what Solarize Mass achieves,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “Through this program, residents and business owners in these cities and town will have access to affordable clean energy options that will reduce emissions and their energy bills.”
“Solarize Mass Plus helps provide affordable pricing for solar, battery storage and other technologies to communities across Massachusetts,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “Increasing access to renewable technologies at an affordable price will help homeowners take advantage of the numerous benefits clean energy provides, and we look forward to seeing the success of these campaigns.”