The energy scene in Boston just got a little brighter. Yesterday, December 17, Mayor Walsh, along with Cambridge Mayor David P. Maher and representatives of the Race to Solar program, cut the ribbon on a new 50 kW solar project at the North Bennet Street School.
The North Bennet Street School is the first nonprofit organization to install solar under Race to Solar, a new program launched earlier this year to help local nonprofits go solar. The 50kW system will produce 20% of the school’s electricity and is expected to reduce energy costs by $270,000 over 30 years
“This school is helping us set a new environmental standard in the City of Boston,” said Mayor Walsh.
Race to Solar makes solar more affordable for nonprofits by aggregating demand, and has a goal of adding approximately 1 megawatt of clean, renewable electric power to Boston and Cambridge—bringing the City of Boston closer to reaching its climate goal of 25 megawatts of solar by 2020.
It was also announced today, that the Race to Solar program has been extended to March 31, 2015, and the first 40 nonprofit organizations in Boston and Cambridge to participate in in Race to Solar will have access to special incentives on solar energy systems.
By participating in the Race to Solar, nonprofits are encouraged to take advantage of the following free services:
- NSTAR and National Grid’s Direct Install energy upgrade program: The no-cost energy evaluation can be scheduled at any time, and the work will be 70% rebated, with the remainder can be paid with a zero-interest loan. This will lower energy bills by an average of 30%.
- A free, online energy-tracking program, Wegowise: Wegowise will help nonprofits quantify savings and spot problems with plumbing or heating before they become serious.
They are also encouraged to refer five or more small local businesses to a no-cost energy evaluation. This ensures that the race to solar hopes local businesses as well as nonprofits. Because small businesses and energy efficiency are strong drivers of local jobs, this will help our community become more economically and environmentally sustainable.