Solarize Mass Program May Come to Chelmsford
Solar energy could become a reality for Chelmsford residents through the help of a state-subsided program.
Solar energy could be coming to a neighborhood near you.
On Monday night, the Chelmsford Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to support a proposal presented by Marc Grant to the Solarize Massachusetts program.
“Essentially what the state is doing is encouraging development of green energy,” Grant said.
“We did this last year; we were not successful with that application,” Grant said. Chelmsford teamed with Tyngsboro in a joint proposal.
“We’re talking about a program to make solar electric power available to residents by purchasing a system at their residence,” Grant informed the board.
The proposal is due to the state on Wednesday, Feb. 20, and a decision is expected on March 14.
“They’re offering financial resources and technical resources to make this product available to towns; they select about 10 each year,” Grant said.
Grant was specific in identifying exactly what benefits the program would provide.
“What they’ll offer is $2,500 for marketing and outreach, a tool-kit that allows us to provide information to residents and organizations and some help in actually selecting an installer,” he said.
“We’re trying to collect information, feedback from residence about whether they’re interested,” Grant said.
Grant’s proposal team has developed a 5-question survey to help inform the town’s application to the program. The survey can be taken until midnight on Monday, February 18.
Grant clarified that should Chelmsford be selected to join the program, businesses are able to participate.
“For a business, it may not provide all of their power needs, but it could supplement their power needs,” he said.
Looking ahead, Grant said he is eager to move forward with the project if Chelmsford is accepted into the program.
“If we’re successful we’ll try to partner with every town organization we could,” he said.
Towns will be informed of their proposal status by March 14. The next step would be to sign up residents and businesses for new solar panels. This process would begin in April or May and last through September 30.
Solarize Mass began in 2011 as part of Governor Deval Patricks initiative to install 250 megawatts of solar power in Massachusetts by the year 2017.
The program is aimed at “driving mass adoption of small-scale solar electricity.”