Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Solar Energy Opportunities for Municipalities

With energy costs on the rise, some are looking to solar power. And a new partnership between PowerOptions and SunEdison hopes to help municipalities take advantage of solar energy by providing affordable contracts and pricing.

The new state-wide program was unveiled Tuesday at a ceremony in City Hall.

Mayor Scott Galvin said Woburn hopes to one day take advantage of the new program as part of it's "commitment to renewable energy."

According to the mayor, the city has already made several steps toward its goal of reducing energy costs by 20 percent over five years.

"The city is committed to solar development," said Mayor Galvin. "We look forward to learning more about this new PowerOptions program, and its potential in helping Woburn reaching our important energy goals."

Under the new program, PowerOptions, an electricy and natural gas purchasing consortium in Massachusetts, will team up with SunEdison to provide solar-energy services to non-profits, governments, schools, cities and towns.

"We think what we’re doing will help the commonwealth meet its objectives, particulary with the green communities [initiative]," said Cynthia Arcate, the president and chief executive officer of PowerOptions.

Matthew Dickey, a managing director of sales for SunEdison, said the company is "very excited" about coming to Massachusetts.

"With our extensive history and proven success with nonprofits, SunEdison will help schools and government entities realize the benefits of solar energy with best-in-class pricing and long-term cost savings," said Carlos Domenech, the president of SunEdison.

Although solar energy is fairly new to governments and municipalities, it has been used by homeowners for years.

State Rep. Jim Dwyer has had solar panels on his home since the 1970s.

"It was an investment in those days," he recalled. "But it was an investment well spent. Having two daughters taking 98 showes a week, it came back to us ten fold."

Rep. Dwyer said he was excited to be a part of the new program unveiling because he has seen the benefits of solar energy personally.

"It’s a win-win-win situation," said Rep. Dwyer. "It's providing employmen, clean energy, and reducing the carbon footprint and improves our quality of life."


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