The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) say the second round of this year's Solarize Mass program is now accepting applications from cities and towns interested in participating.
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 program is open to all Massachusetts communities, including those designated by DOER as Green Communities – a designation DOER bestows on cities and towns that meet five clean energy requirements, including a commitment to reduce their energy use by 20%. By statute, municipalities must adopt ‘as-of-right’ siting and expedited permitting for renewable energy projects in order to receive the designation.
The first round of the 2013 Solarize Mass program is under way in 10 communities: Bourne, Brookline, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Lee, Medford, Medway, Newton, Northampton and Williamstown.
MassCEC and DOER expect to select at least eight communities or groups of communities to participate in the second round of the program. 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.
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 MW of total capacity.
Massachusetts reached Gov. Deval Patrick's goal of installing 250 MW 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 1.6 GW of solar capacity by 2020.