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2014 has come to a close for our team. We had a great year connecting to our community, clients and fellow solar advocates. All of us at Northeast Solar are grateful for the opportunity to advocate for renewable energy as we work daily to make a real difference in the Pioneer Valley.
Our industry faced many uncertainties and obstacles this year including a rushed legislative initiative that would have had real detrimental effect on the small commercial, agricultural and residential market. But a strong and passionate group of fellow solar advocates, businesses and industry experts came together and helped kill the legislation. We are now just beginning the dialogue of open discussion and debate regarding the future of solar in Massachusetts. Hopefully 2015 will be the year that the solar industry solidifies its role in Massachusetts through fair and just legislation. Look for more from our collective group as MassSolar is launched in 2015.
NES installed over 750kW of new solar in the Pioneer Valley this year. We did this without third party leasing or other financial gimmicks. We believe that solar is an economic and societal model that benefits not only the system owner but the community at large. The installed systems will return to the community over $1,300,000 in savings, incentives and tax credits. This does not include the almost $500,000 in purchased goods and services from companies within the Pioneer Valley. Over the next twenty years the return will be over $3,000,000 in savings in electrical expense. This is the true economic value to our communities. But I would be remiss if I did not also include the 25,182,000 pounds of Carbon Dioxide that these installed systems will offset. Do we need any further social proof for the value of solar energy in our community?
Solarize Amherst was the high point of 2014. We had incredible success and managed the most successful campaign to date in the program. Over 170 systems were contracted. The best part of the campaign was meeting and talking to all the residents of Amherst. They had wonderful stories, shared our philosophy on renewable energy and warmly invited us into their community. We owe a special thanks to Jeannette Tokarz, Stephanie Ciccarello and the Solarize team. They led a great team of volunteers that made the program a success. We are grateful for their continued friendship.
As we look forward to 2015 we are even more committed to the deployment of solar energy in our community. Our new relationship with Sungage Financial will bring a “local” financing option to the community that will include automatic SREC reimbursement. This will help lower the entrance barrier to going solar. We will be highlighting this new solar option in the first quarter of 2015.
I would like to thank all of the wonderful clients that have made our year so special. We look forward to showcasing your stories on this blog and working with you in building a strong and vibrant community. Happy New Year!
Gregory Garrison, President