HUDSON -- With the final connection made at the final customer's home on Littleton Road, 67 Harvard homeowners are generating clean solar power from their rooftops or backyards as a result of the Solarize Harvard program, Mark Durrenberger, president of solar installer New England Clean Energy, announced. One in 20 Harvard residents is now generating solar power.
The solar electric installations represent approximately 370 kilowatts of solar power, which will generate roughly 388,000 kilowatt-hours per year, and offset about 194 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The homeowners collectively are saving more than $54,000 a year in electricity costs.
Solarize Harvard is part of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's Solarize Massachusetts pilot program, which was launched in June 2011 in the towns of Harvard, Hatfield, Scituate and Winchester. The goal of the pilot was to increase adoption of solar electric systems by essentially offering volume discounts that meant lower prices for communities buying multiple installations. Harvard had the best result of the four towns in the pilot program, setting the standard for the 2012 Solarize Massachusetts program and being featured in Photon Magazine.
Solar electric systems help homeowners lower their electric bills, make money selling solar credits, generate pollution-free power, and increase their homes' value by $20 for every $1 saved by the solar system.
"Solarize Harvard was an incredibly successful social experiment. The town had a well-organized grassroots structure in place prior to Solarize, and a tireless force of Solarize volunteers who passionately believed in renewable energy. These people knocked on doors, placed calls and licked stamps until they were sure every possible kilowatt of solar that could be sold was sold. My hat is off to them," said Durrenberger.
Harvard Selectman Timothy Clark said, "I couldn't be more proud of the Harvard community's commitment to renewable energy. We now have one of the highest number of solar photovoltaic installations per capita in Massachusetts, if not the nation. This would not have been possible without our Energy Advisory Committee's dedication to a sustainable and managed energy future in Harvard. Their efforts have saved the town thousands of dollars in wasted energy costs, and now their work has translated into 67 new beneficiaries of low-cost solar electricity."
"New England Clean Energy made investing in solar very easy to understand and execute," said Solarize Harvard customer Tom Williams. "The level of skill and professionalism the crew displayed was unmatched in any serious renovation project I have done yet. The system is working very well and providing 70 percent of my family's needs."