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Massachusetts Makes Solar Modules More a Priority Than Ever
Tuesday, November 13th 2012 2:23 PM
By GetSolar Staff.
The temperature in Massachusetts may be getting increasingly colder as winter approaches, but the state's solar energy industry continues to heat up thanks in part to available financial incentives. After all, it's not by coincidence that the Bay State has had the 10th fastest growing market for photovoltaic power since late 2009, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

All over Massachusetts, homeowners, businesses and other organizations continue to see the benefits of PV power, installing panels to save money and reduce energy demands from non-renewable sources.

State Incentive Program Boosts PV Demand: Thank to this year's Solarize Massachusetts program, which ended on November 4, more than 800 businesses and residents in 17 municipalities across the state elected to go forward with a solar energy installation, according to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). In total, the program, which offered more financial incentives when more property owners signed up, was responsible for the installation of more than 5 megawatts of new PV capacity.

"Others are duplicating this innovative program, which empowers communities to advocate for and take advantage of cost-effective, clean and local sources of energy for residents and businesses," MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton McDevitt said in a statement. "Saving money while avoiding the environmental and public health impacts of fossil-fuel based generation is an absolute win-win for the economy and the environment."

Making Money with Modules: Earlier this month, Shrewsbury officials approved the construction of a 3-gigawatt PV panel installation to be located on top of a closed landfill in the town, the Shrewsbury Chronicle reported. Should a deal with the utility Shrewsbury Electric and Cable Operations be reached, the municipality expects to make $100,000 or more a year by selling electricity to the power company.

Another Solar-Powered Landfill Site: On what used to be 23 acres of landfill in Rockland will now be a solar panel installation, as the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection approved a plan last month to allow PV panels on the site. According to Wicked Local Rockland, the municipality is now hoping to lease out the land to a developer to build and put in place the array. The town board last spring said they wanted to start getting electricity from the site by December, but as of October were still looking for a company willing to build on the property.

Town Utility Goes Solar: Thanks to a power purchase agreement, the town of Ashburnham will soon be getting some of its electricity needs met by PV electricity. Plans are now underway for a 3-megawatt installation featuring 16,000 solar modules situated on 12 acres. At peak capacity, the project is expected to generate enough power to meet the demands of 300 households, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

"It gives us control over that portion of our power supply for the next 20 years, which we won't have in the open market," Ashburnham utility manager Stan Herriott said to the news source about the solar array. "Hopefully, when we hit that hot day in July, our solar array will be producing as close to peak as possible."

Historic School Embraces New Technology Source: The Roxbury Latin School, the oldest independent school in the United States, recently installed solar panels on the roof of one of its buildings, the West Roxbury Patch reported. The 140-kilowatt array includes about 565 PV panels, and are expected to reduce the school's energy bills by about 35 percent. Because of the reduced electricity rates, the system should save Roxbury Latin about $5,000 during the first year after installation and approximately $100,000 over the next 15 years.

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