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June 30, 2015

By Rebecca McWilliams, Volunteer Solar Coach, SOLARIZE QUINCY

Solarize Quincy, the state- and city-sponsored program that provides discounted solar panels to Quincy residents and small businesses, has been extended beyond its original deadline to August 31, 2015.  This gives residents and business owners two extra months to have their property assessed for solar. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the Department of Energy Resources elected to extend the program both because of high demand in the community and the historic levels of snow in February and March that delayed the start of the program, according to the Clean Energy Center.

As of June 30, the program’s old deadline, 61 contracts had been signed, for a total of 330 kilowatts of solar panels, said Rebecca McWilliams, lead volunteer for Solarize Quincy. “There was a huge increase in program participation as we approached the original deadline. We gained over 100 kilowatts of electricity based on the contracts signed in a little over a week,” McWilliams said.

“The word on the street is that solar is a wise financial decision for your home or business. The Solarize Quincy program offers deep discounts, value, and quality panels.” Because of the extension, Quincy Climate Action Network members volunteering for Solarize will continue attending public events in the hope of signing up more residents for solar assessments, said David Reich, QCAN’s board chair.

“QCAN has been the heart and soul of Solarize Quincy, providing the vast bulk of our hard-working volunteers,” McWilliams said.

Now that the program has been given two more months of breathing room, Quincy will likely reach the goal of adding over 400 kilowatts of solar capacity to its rooftops, said Dan Barnett, residential sales manager for SolarFlair, the exclusive installer for Solarize Quincy. If Barnett’s prediction is borne out, SolarFlair will award a free 5 kilowatt solar installation to a nonprofit. To qualify, the nonprofit must own property in Quincy, and SolarFlair must determine that the property will work for solar, based on aspects like shading and orientation. The winner of the free solar installation will be selected by lottery from among qualifying applicants.

So far, three nonprofits have been nominated to get the free solar panels, said McWilliams. To nominate a nonprofit, go to solarizequincy.weebly.com and click on “Tier 6” at the top of the homepage. To have a free solar assessment of your house or business, go to the homepage and click on the “Interested” tab.

For more information contact Rebecca McWilliams at 401.451.4642