Solstice announced that only 20 spots remain in a set of Barre, Massachusetts, solar gardens, giving Worcester County households the chance to support local, clean energy and save on their electricity costs. The projects, which together total 2 MW of production capacity, were built by Community Energy, a renewable energy developer that has built nearly 700 MW of solar capacity in its nearly two decades of experience.
Community solar is a model for residential solar that allows households to enroll in a local shared solar array and see savings on their electricity costs. Because community solar requires no changes to a participant’s property, the projects are open to households regardless of homeownership status or residents’ ability to find financing for their array. According to industry analyst GTM Research, community solar was the fastest-growing sector of the solar industry in 2017, and is now available in states across the nation.
The Barre community solar projects are already active and distributing energy bill credits to project participants in Worcester County, bringing them a fixed 10% discount on the energy that their allocation generates. Residents of select central and western Massachusetts counties are also eligible.
The three co-located projects occupy a 14-acre parcel of retired farmland and will serve approximately two hundred area households. A portion of the projects are being allocated to a local corporation with headquarters in Western Massachusetts, contributing to their corporate sustainability goals.
On top of benefits to its subscribers, the projects have brought new construction jobs to the area, as well as work for local residents attending to ongoing operations and maintenance needs. The projects will also protect the land where they are located and provide significant tax revenues to the Town of Barre over a 20-year period.
“This is a great opportunity for people to save on their energy costs, even as they support clean energy right here in central Massachusetts,” said Solstice co-founder & CEO, Steph Speirs. “We’re excited to be working with Community Energy to maximize these projects’ positive impact in our community.”
“We are excited to add the Barre Solar project to our growing base of operating community solar projects,” said Jay Carlis, executive vice president of Community Energy Solar. “A couple hundred Massachusetts residents have already reduced their energy costs by subscribing to the Barre Solar Project. We are looking forward to working with Solstice to offer the last few available spaces in the project.”
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