Potluck Energy and SunBug Solar are celebrating the completion of a 22-kilowatt subscription-based, community solar installation located on the roof of the Avid Building in downtown Somerville, MA. The first ever community solar project in the city offers customers of the local utility, Eversource, the flexibility to go solar with no obligation beyond 6 months, while receiving an average savings of 10 percent off existing retail electricity rates.
“This is a great opportunity to bring the benefits of solar to renters and homeowners who cannot put solar on their own roofs, while helping them save on their utility bill. We are excited to be able to bring this solution for the first time to the city of Somerville. This community solar system will be the first to be fully flexible in the Greater Boston area, allowing members to join and leave the community project without any penalty for moving to a different electricity provider,” says Michele Lunati, President of Potluck Energy.
Subscriptions to the project sold out prior to the project’s completion, showing there’s strong interest for community solar in the region. Interested customers can still sign up for a waiting list through Potluck Energy’s website to subscribe to future projects or should part of the Somerville project becomes available.
Green Cambridge, an environmental advocacy group, assisted in recruiting and educating potential customers in Somerville and surrounding communities about going solar and participating in the project. “We’ve been working for over five years to bring community solar to Cambridge and nearby communities,” said Quinton Zondervan, Potluck’s Benefit Director and the President of Green Cambridge. “We are very excited to see the first system go up in Somerville. We look forward to supporting the continued growth of community solar to provide greater access to the benefits of solar to members of our communities.”
Eversource’s subscribing customers in Somerville and nearby Cambridge will receive virtual net-metering credits for the solar generated electricity the system produces starting in June 2017. Potluck Energy will handle the distribution and billing of power generated by the system, as well as manage the allocation of membership shares as the project progresses.
Community solar projects will be vital to Massachusetts if it meets a proposed commitment to source all of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2035. Fueled by proposed revisions to the state’s net-metering policies and the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program as well as the extension of the Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC-2), Massachusetts is expected to see approximately 400 megawatts of community solar projects operational by the end of 2018.Tweet