ANNAPOLIS JUNCTION, Md., Sept. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Astrum Solar, the largest full-service residential solar provider headquartered in the eastern United States, is proud to announce it has reached over a megawatt of contracted capacity as the preferred installer for six Massachusetts towns in the Solarize Mass program, which is a partnership between the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). The Astrum Solar achievement of 1,084 kilowatts to be installed at 123 customer sites across the six communities comes with one month still to go in the Solarize Mass initiative.
Astrum Solar, whose Massachusetts operations are based in Hopkinton, was selected by a committee of local volunteers and municipal officials, with input from state officials, to serve as the designated installer for the communities of Palmer, Lincoln, Sudbury, Wayland, Pittsfield and Lenox. Astrum Solar works in close contact with volunteer "solar coaches" in each of those areas. The community solar coach plays a critical role in engaging the community and spurring participation in the Solarize Mass program throughout the summer.
MassCEC announced last month that the Astrum Solar communities of Lincoln, Sudbury and Wayland are the only communities thus far to reach the threshold of contracted projects that guarantees the lowest pricing available. The Solarize Mass program offers a tiered pricing structure that provides increasing discounts as more residents participate. These three communities now have contracts for 92 separate systems, representing 858 kW of new capacity, allowing 29 percent lower than the average installed cost for small PV systems in the Commonwealth at the start of the program.
"Astrum Solar was our top pick and we couldn't be more pleased with them," said Wayland solar coach, Kaat Vander Straeten. "They and the MassCEC deserve major credit for revolutionizing the way our community sees clean, solar energy."
The news comes as the Astrum Solar communities of Pittsfield, Lenox and Palmer have also achieved considerable success – recently reaching Tier 4, Tier 4 and Tier 3, respectively, on the customer pricing scale. Tier 4 provides customers a discount that is 27 percent lower than the average Commonwealth installed price at the beginning of the program; Tier 3 equates to a discount that is 25 percent lower than the average Commonwealth installed price at the beginning of the program.
"We're pleased to be involved with the Solarize Mass initiative and helping to get Massachusetts communities behind the drive for solar energy," said Astrum Solar President and Chief Executive Officer Vadim Polikov. "We are thrilled to see our communities shine and look forward to continuing the trend in all the communities where Astrum Solar is the selected installer."
"A national model, this bulk pricing program lowers electricity rates and creates a network of home-grown energy sources while creating local jobs," said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton McDevitt. "Through this public and private partnership with Astrum Solar, together we are leaving a brighter energy future for the next generation."
Solarize Mass, which is a partnership between the MassCEC and DOER's Green Communities Division, encourages the adoption of small scale solar PV by deploying a coordinated education, marketing and outreach effort, combined with a tiered pricing structure that provides increased savings as more people in the community go solar. MassCEC provides technical support and hosts free educational meetings in the participating communities to educate people about the benefits of installing solar and to drive interest in implementing the technology.
"Solarize Mass and the 103 Green Communities are helping spread solar power across the 340 of 351 communities that now have at least one state-supported solar electricity project," said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia.
MassCEC and DOER launched Solarize Mass last year as a pilot program in four Green Communities, leading to 162 new contracts signed. Seventeen Green Communities - Acton, Arlington, Boston, Hopkinton, Melrose, Mendon, Millbury, Montague, Newburyport, Palmer, Pittsfield, Lenox, Shirley, Sutton, Wayland, Sudbury and Lincoln – were selected in April to participate in phase two of the program, which runs through September.
About Astrum Solar
Astrum Solar, a full-service residential solar provider, is among the industry's market leaders with operations in a dozen states throughout the eastern United States. The company provides a premier customer experience by facilitating every aspect of a homeowner's seamless transition from traditional energy to solar electricity – from system customization to installation to performance monitoring and maintenance. Headquartered in Annapolis Junction, Md., the company offers a full complement of flexible purchase options and operates in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.
For more information or to use the company's online Solar Calculator, visit www.astrumsolar.com.
Created by the Green Jobs Act of 2008, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has as its mission to foster the growth of the Massachusetts clean energy industry by providing seed grants to companies, universities, and nonprofit organizations; funding job training and workforce development programs; and, as home of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, supporting the installation of renewable energy projects throughout the state.
For more information about Solarize Mass, visit www.SolarizeMass.com and follow the twitter hash tag #SolarizeMass.
SOURCE Astrum Solar