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Northeast Solar, in cooperation with the Wendell Energy Committee, is offering residents of Wendell and surrounding communities the opportunity to become owners of the states very first solar cooperative.
The 990-panel, 324.6-kilowatt solar array will be located on a 1.33-acre lot on Wendell Depot Road in Wendell, Massachusetts. Construction is slated to begin around Labor Day.
Many Wendell properties are not well suited for solar due to shading or roof condition.
“Over two-thirds of residential properties in Massachusetts are poor sites for solar. A solar cooperative allows those households to switch to clean energy,” said Greg Garrison, President of Northeast Solar.
The solar coop will give people with unsuitable sites the chance to take advantage of all of the perks of going solar.
“Owners in this system will receive a lower purchase price than standard residential installations,” Garrison said. “Coop owners will receive the federal tax credit, Massachusetts SMART incentives, and on-bill credits to their electric bill.”
The solar coop will be accepting 50 member-owners and spots are expected to go quickly. Over the 20-year life of the photovoltaic array, owners will save about $1.3 million dollars.
“Within a few years, co-op owners will have fully recovered the cost of ownership and will be able to reinvest their energy dollars back into their local community,” Garrison said.
Northeast Solar will be building other Community Solar Cooperatives throughout the Pioneer Valley and will be welcoming more community members to join.
Northeast Solar is a local solar company employing 17 people out of its Hatfield office.
In addition to free solar for a growing list of non-profits, Northeast Solar donates 1% of its gross revenues every year to sponsor and support community groups representing the arts, athletic organizations and non-profits like food banks, land trusts and educational foundations.
“We live in the communities we work in and take pride in supporting the local non-profits and individuals who work hard to sustain the places we call home, Garrison said.”