Solarize Mass Program

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Description: 

Solarize Mass seeks to increase the adoption of small-scale solar electricity in participating communities through a competitive solicitation process that aggregates homeowner buying power to lower installation prices for participants. The Solarize Mass Plus program pairs the Solarize Mass model with an additional technology offering. Eligible technologies range from various Clean Heating and Cooling technologies, to Energy Efficiency or Electric Vehicles. Each participating community competitively selects a designated solar installation company. Homeowners and business owners who want to participate can either purchase the solar electricity systems directly or enter into a lease or power purchase agreement (PPA) with the installer if offered (Source).

Note: The application window has closed for 2018. However, as the process is somewhat extensive, we recommend that you begin planning to submit a proposal for 2019 as soon as possible.

Eligibility:

In order for a Community to be eligible to submit an application, the following requirements must be met:

  • The Community cannot have participated in previous Solarize Mass Programs or current HeatSmart Mass Pilots;
  • The Community must be serviced by an investor-owned electric utility (Eversource, National Grid, or Unitil) or municipal lighting plant community that pays into the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust;
  • The Community must have within its border at least 1,000 owner-occupied residences. Communities with fewer than 1,000 owner-occupied residences are eligible to apply if they partner with up to 3 additional municipalities and have a combined total of at least 1000 owner-occupied residences; and
  • The Community must submit to MassCEC a completed application form by A specified date (Attachment A). Incomplete applications will be returned.

(Source pg 12)

How to Apply:

A proposal must be submitted electronically. Proposals should be submitted via email to the Solarize Massachusetts Team at Solarize@masscec.com. Only complete proposals will be accepted.

Prior to Submitting a Proposal:

  • (Requested, not required) Email of intent: At the start of the application process, interested applicants are asked to submit an email to Solarize@masscec.com to indicate that the applicant is intending to submit an application. This information is helpful for planning purposes.
  • Communities may also ask questions or request an optional informational call with MassCEC through this email.

Proposals Must Contain:

  • Completed and signed Community Proposal Checklist and Application Form
  • Letter from municipal Chief Executive Officer, containing the following:
    • Statement of Commitment
    • Municipal Representative identified
    • Community Solar Coach identified
    • Demonstration of experience with a solar PV project or solar or community engagement related activities (if applicable)
    • Confirmation of review of MassCEC-Community Contract (Addendum 1), and any comments
    • (Optional) Provide insight into whether the Community Energy or Sustainability Committee will be involved in administering a Solarize Mass campaign
  • Terms and Conditions Review and Comments: Review the Terms and Conditions. Attach any comments to the application.
  • Community Solar Coach Personal Statement: Attach a statement (≤ 300 words) demonstrating interest, commitment and expected role in the program, and a note that the Example Community Solar Coach Program Duties and Commitments  form has been reviewed.
  • (Optional) Attach a Letter from the Community Energy or Sustainability Committee (if in existence) demonstrating support for a Solarize Mass program in the Community.

(Source, 12-13)

Selection Criteria

  • Overall quality: well-thought-out proposal components;
  • Team: degree of team’s outreach experience, breakout of volunteer roles, demonstration of volunteer team capacity to drive program and the breadth of partnerships identified in proposal. Additional consideration will be given to communities that can demonstrate support by the municipality for the Solarize Mass program;
  • Marketing Plan and Budget: overall quality, scope and creativity of marketing plan, adherence to the Solarize Mass Community Best Practices Timeline , and use of grant budget; demonstrating review of 2011 Solarize Mass Pilot Overview, 2012 Solarize Mass Program Update, and previous Solarize Mass community marketing plans.
  • Additional resources: the extent to which additional resources (both financial and otherwise) are identified and potentially committed to the program;
  • Permitting: degree to which Community can outline the permitting process for solar PV projects (and other technology if participating Solarize Mass Plus) and identify any process or cost streamlining efforts;
  • Group proposal (if applicable): demonstrate the advantages to responding to the RFP as a group rather than individual Communities.
  • Solarize Mass Plus Proposal (if applicable): Demonstrate perceived Community value of pairing solar PV with one additional technology, along with proof of sufficient Community interest (see local interest section in Attachment A), and plan to build into outreach and education campaign.

(Source, pg 8)

Additional Resources

2018 Solarize Mass Community RFP

Solarize Guidebook

Solarize Mass Community Best Practices Timeline

Planning and Implementing a Solar Initiative

Solarize Mass General Page

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