In 2013, Brookline was one of 10 Massachusetts Green Communities selected to participate in the Solarize Mass program. The program offered discounts for installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

 

The results: Brookline reached the highest tier (Tier 5), which meant those who participated received the lowest prices available in the program.  Residents and businesses in Brookline contracted to install 63 solar electricity systems, for a total of 345.60 kW

Solar for Your Home or Business

While the Solarize Mass program in Brookline is complete, there are many companies that can help you install solar at your home.  There are also rebates that can help make the installation more affordable.  The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is a great place to start your research.

Community-Based Solar

Many homes aren't good candidates for the installation of solar panels - they may face the wrong direction or there may be too many trees blocking the sun.  An alternative is community-based solar.  In this model, a solar array is built and you can purchase a share.

Brookline's Community Shared Solar Working Group is exploring options for our community.


Solutions for Solar

The problem of how to store solar energy cost effectively may be solved.   See Elon Musk on YouTube announcing Tesla Energy.  As this is scaled up, costs may decline further driving the economics so that solar completely replaces fossil fuels as the source of all energy needed by the world.


Net Metering in Massachusetts

The photovoltaic market in Massachusetts has been thrown into confusion in recent weeks by a cascade of unfortunate events: 

  • The cap on net metering projects has been reached in some 170 (of 351) Massachusetts cities and towns.
  • The Baker administration announced that it opposes increasing the net metering caps.
  • The Net Metering Task Force, created last year by the state legislature, issued an inconclusive report.  The Final Report of the Net Metering Task Force can be found here

As a result, many of the 12,000 jobs in MA’s solar industry may be at risk and they are already seeing projects halted.  In addition, the stoppage in solar installations means that many MA residents will be unable to take advantage of a 30% federal funding program that expires at the end of 2016.  In response, the MA legislature is considering legislation which raises the net metering caps to 1600 MW, exempts Community Shared Solar projects from caps and from taxation for 20 years, and directs DOER to create an electricity storage program.  The bill:  in the Senate, S1770; in the House, H2852