Race to Solar launches in Cambridge and Boston


4/11/2014

Cambridge Landscape from Charles River

Cambridge Mayor David P. Maher and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh this week launched the Race to Solar, a program for local non-profits and small businesses to increase the adoption of solar power installations and energy efficiency measures.

Race to Solar is a partnership with Renew Boston, NSTAR, National Grid, and Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) to promote energy efficiency upgrades and make solar power more affordable and accessible for non-profits, including houses of worship and schools, and small businesses that own their buildings.

“Providing energy upgrades that are affordable is one of Cambridge’s top priorities,” says Mayor Maher. “In order to combat the effects of global climate change, our City, our local businesses and our non-profits now have the distinct advantage that the Race to Solar program provides. We’re proud to support this initiative and to help our local non-profits to take advantage of the cost-savings, energy-efficiency and green solutions offered by photo-voltaic systems.”

“Solar has been taking off in Boston and I am pleased to work with the City of Cambridge to bring solar to organizations that serve and do business right in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Walsh.  “Boston is a leader in providing its non-profits and businesses the tools to be sustainable and we must continue to ‘greenovate’ our city.”

Through the Race to Solar, organizations will be able to take advantage of a competitively priced option for installing solar power.  To participate, non-profits and small businesses must own their buildings, have suitable site conditions for a solar installation, and be in good financial standing.  The goal of Race to Solar is to promote and facilitate the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems on the buildings of 40 local non-profit organizations, adding approximately 1 megawatt of clean, renewable electric power capacity to Boston and Cambridge.  SunBug Solar was selected as the solar installer through a competitive RFP process and won based on their experience, quality of work, and attractive offer.  

Participating non-profits and small businesses must engage in an energy evaluation and upgrade through NSTAR and National Grid’s Direct Install program, and help to promote the program to other businesses within their own networks.  In this manner the Race to Solar helps not only non-profits, but also local businesses.  Small businesses and energy efficiency are both strong drivers of local jobs, making the community more economically and environmentally sustainable.

“Race to Solar empowers non-profits to invest in solar energy systems, by first reducing their utility bills through an energy upgrade and helping small businesses to do the same,” Ashka Naik, Executive Director of HEET. "This is a win-win for the non-profit and their community."

The Race to Solar program is designed to help non-profits and their communities achieve energy savings and invest in clean renewable solar energy systems. To learn more about the Race to Solar and speak directly with program providers, please attend one of these upcoming technical workshops:

Wednesday, Apr. 30, 10 a.m. -12 p.m., Cambridge City Hall Annex, 344, Broadway, Cambridge
Thursday, May 1, 6-8 p.m., St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, 239 Harvard St., Cambridge
Thursday, May 15, 6-8 p.m., Curtis Hall, 20 South St., Jamaica Plain
Tuesday, May 20, 6-8 p.m., Carpenter’s Center, 750 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester

For more information about the Race to Solar program, call 1-617-HEET-350 or visit www.racetosolar.org.

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