Thursday, August 4, 2016

Solstice Initiative


Welcome our newest community member, Solstice Initiative, an award-winning nonprofit that provides community-shared solar to Americans that cannot install a system on their own roof. 

80% of Americans are effectively locked out of the solar market because they rent their homes, own a condo, have inadequate credit, or possess a non-optimal roof (such as a roof covered by a tree or facing the wrong way).

Solstice Initiative is changing that. A Boston-based nonprofit, they deploy “community solar,” which enables households to subscribe to a shared solar farm in their neighborhood that sends electricity to the grid. Solstice partners with solar developers to install shared solar farms in communities and offer portions to houses of worship, small businesses, and individual residents. Participants immediately begin saving 10% on their monthly utility bill, and there is no cost to join or rooftop needed. 

In the Bridgewater area, Solstice has partnered with solar developer Clean Energy Collective to provide residents with renewable electricity from solar gardens in Uxbridge, MA. In recent months, Solstice has been awarded the Echoing Green fellowship, the Global Good Fund fellowship, a MassCEC scholarship, the #worldpositive award, and the Kia Revisionaries prize. 

Their work has already been received positively in Bridgewater, where the First Parish Unitarian Church recently enrolled in the program. The church had long been interested in solar, but its status as a historic building prevented it from installing panels on its own roof. Over the last year, it opted to pay an additional fee on its utility bill to get renewable energy from the grid, but earlier this year, church leaders became aware of Solstice. The congregation learned that they would save hundreds of dollars on their annual bill, in addition to avoiding the clean energy surcharge. They voted to join and support local clean energy. Individual parishioners have followed suit and switched to community solar as well. 

Solstice is actively signing up more churches, households, and small businesses, but there are only a few spots left in the Uxbridge solar garden. To learn more about how to enroll, please contact Sean Hutton at sean@solsticeinitiative.org or (508) 289-1097 or visit their website.

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