As many as two-thirds of American households are not suitable candidates for rooftop solar. Community solar solves this by connecting communities to nearby solar projects (also known as solar gardens), providing guaranteed savings on subscribers' monthly energy bills and adding clean energy to the local grid. Arcadia and ENGIE North America are rolling out a portfolio of new solar gardens as part of the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program to provide access to Commonwealth communities.
Two of the gardens are online now and the remainder are scheduled to be commissioned by early 2022. Once complete, the seven solar gardens will generate approximately 40 megawatts (MW) of renewable power for households, businesses, and communities across the Commonwealth, from Cape Cod to the Berkshires. The projects will produce enough energy to power more than 5,600 households annually.
"Community solar provides access to clean energy to businesses, communities, and lower-income households that cannot install rooftop solar and have been traditionally left out of the clean energy transition," said Joel Gamoran, Vice President and General Manager of Energy Services at Arcadia.
"Access to clean energy shouldn't be a matter of circumstance or privilege — every homeowner, renter, and business owner should be able to enjoy the benefits of clean energy. We're excited to partner with ENGIE North America to accelerate the growth of community solar across the Commonwealth."
"We're proud to be a part of the Massachusetts community and to provide clean, renewable energy to local businesses and homes," said Jacques Boonen, Head of Distributed Renewables for ENGIE North America.
"These seven projects are our first community solar gardens on the East Coast, and we look forward to continuing our work to make renewable energy more accessible to all."
Arcadia is the largest manager of residential community solar subscriptions in the US. The company has pioneered a no-credit-check, no long-term-commitment model that is consumer-friendly and opens access to everyone — regardless of economic status. When residents sign up for Arcadia's community solar program, they will join a local solar garden. When the solar garden generates electricity, subscribers will receive credits on their power bills, leading to net savings of 5-10%, and solar energy will flow into the local power supply.