Program Description

The Brookline Community Shared Solar Task Force is a group of volunteers who are working together to promote Community Shared Solar (CSS) opportunities in Brookline. This effort is an outgrowth of the Solarize Brookline campaign that provided discounted solar arrays on mainly single family homes with suitable roofs. Wanting a more inclusive approach, the group seeks to bring the benefits of Community Solar to Brookline residents, businesses, and non-profit organizations that do not have suitable roofs. In this way, renters, condos, residents of dwellings with inaccessible, shaded roofs, as well as businesses and organizations like houses of worship, senior or youth centers, clubs and schools that are not able to host a solar system on their property can still enjoy the savings and environmental benefits of going solar. We plan several large solar arrays which will generate automatically deducted credits every month from participant bills.

Taking
Reservations
Corey Hill Condominium
Brookline, MA
Goal:
$287,000
Size:
47 kW
Taking
Reservations
Brookline Community Solar Project 1
Brookline, MA
Goal:
$1,504,250
Size:
500 kW

Program By The Numbers

2

Total Projects

547 kW

Aggregate Project Size

$1,791,250

Total Project Investment

Financial Benefits

0.13 $/kWh

Average Solar Credit Value

0.18 $/kWh

Average Solar Credit Cost

34.6%

Average Savings

$13,000

Total Solar Credits Produced
(p.a.)

$17,500

Total Paid for Solar Credits
(p.a.)

$4,500

Total Community Solar Savings
(p.a.)

Environmental Benefits

Program Champions



David Lescohier of Brookline, MA

Champion, Corey Hill Condo Solar. Brookline Town Meeting Member Selectmen's Climate Action Committee member. Climate Action Brookline member.

1 Am I eligible?

Anyone in Massachusetts who pays an electric bill to Eversource (previously NStar) is eligible to participate and save, including homeowners, condo owners, renters, businesses, and nonprofits.

2 Do I have to install solar panels on my roof?

No. Village Power and its partners finance, build, and maintain Community Solar projects in remote locations, which deliver solar credits directly to your electric bill.

3 What does it cost to participate?

If you decide on a purchase agreement, nothing. There is no cost to participate. Once your solar project goes live, you pay only for the discounted credits you receive. If you decide to invest, you will purchase shares in the entity created to own the solar project. Your percentage interest in the company is proportional to the size of your investment. As an investor, you will receive your pro-rata share of all tax, depreciation and cash benefits that come with owning a solar system. For more information on projected returns, as well as risks of investing, please refer to the Project Pages for each Brookline CSS Project.

4 How will my utility bill change?

The net metering credits from your Community Solar project will appear directly on your Eversource electric bill as a negative “bill credit”, thereby reducing the amount you pay to Eversource. Each month you will receive a second bill from the Brookline CSS Project company for the credits you received. The amount you are billed for the credits will be less (starting at about 15% less) than the value of the credits, resulting in a savings to you.

5 How much can I save?

Starting savings range from 10 - 15%, and can grow over time.

6 How long will my savings last?

Your savings are guaranteed for as long as you remain enrolled in Brookline’s Community Solar Initiative.

7 Does this change my relationship with Eversource?

No. Your electricity will still be delivered by Eversource, which will also continue to service all equipment and resolve any power outages.

8 Can I participate if I buy electricity from a competitive (third party) supplier?

Yes. Community Solar is available for customers who receive electricity from a competitive supplier. The solar credits that appear on your bill through the Community Solar Initiative can offset all charges, regardless of who they come from.

9 Do I have to notify Eversource?

No. Village Power will handle all communication with your utility.

10 How is Village Power able to offer greater savings than other community solar providers?

Because much of the investment in Village Power projects comes from the communities we serve, our “cost of capital” is generally lower than our competitors. A lower cost of capital allows us to pass along greater savings to our customers.

11 Can I invest in community solar projects?

Absolutely! Just click on any one of the projects that appear in the projects tab on this page. On the project page, you can read more about the specific project and pledge to invest.

12 How do I get started?

Just click on the “Reserve Credits” button at the top of this page and fill out the form online. Someone from our team will be in touch within 24 hours. Still have questions? Click the Help button on the top right of this page.

13 What happens if I move?

If you move to another location in Eastern Massachusetts served by Eversource (excluding Cape & Islands), you can take you credits with you! If not, you can terminate your contract with 60-days notice.

Q: How Can I Participate? A: Purchase Solar Credits!

Credits will appear on your electric bill, lowering the amount you pay the utility for electricity. You'll pay a discounted rate for the credits, resulting in savings.
Here's an example:

Let's say your average monthly electric bill is $100
And you purchase bill credits in the amount of $85
Now you pay the electric utility only $15
You get a discount on the credits you purchase…
Let's assume the discount is 17.5%
So for that $85 of credit you'll pay us $70
Now your electric costs are:
To the utility: $15
To the utility solar project: $70
Total Electric Cost $85
The Result? You Save!
Monthly Savings $15
Yearly Savings $179

Why participate?

Energy from the Sun:

Since 2008, the cost of photovoltaic (PV) panels has declined by over 80%. Solar PV generation has increased more than twenty-fold since 2010. In 2013 new PV electricity generation grew by 4,751 megawatts, or 27% of the additional US generator capacity that came online that year.

Solarized Brookline:

As of the end of 2015, Brookline residents had 108 installed solar arrays, generating 642 KW. Sixty-three of these, generating 346 KW, were acquired through the Solarize Brookline Campaign which offered discounts through a group buying offering. Participating owners of their own homes who have sunny roofs benefited. Community Shared Solar opens this solarize-like opportunity to many more in Brookline. Of interest, 18% of Brookline residences are single family and have potential to solarize. Eliminating shaded properties means that the actual potential for suitable rooftop solar PV is much less than 18%.

Several Ways to Participate and Benefit:

Participants simply sign up to receive electric savings of up to 15% from the Community Shared Solar Project. Participants also have the option of investing in the CSS Project and earning a return. Analogy: Not everyone can work a farm, but anyone can invest in a farm’s production through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). CSS provides an exciting opportunity to reduce the Brookline carbon footprint and at the same time cut electricity bills. You can be an investor or you can simply receive a discount without any upfront investment.

Lower Costs:

Brookline CSS offers a convenient way to share in the savings that a larger solar array can generate. Because of scale, the cost per kilowatt hour is lower than for the roof-by-roof approach. Commercial property owners, proprietors, landlords, and renters who cannot physically install solar panels themselves, would be able to participate/benefit.

Interested in Being a Solar Investor?

Investing in solar can offer attractive, risk-adjusted returns and an opportunity to diversify your investment portfolio in a way that benefits the community and the environment. For more information, please review the Brookline CSS Project Pages.

If Investing Isn’t Right For You:

You can still participate as a subscriber and get discounts automatically applied to your Eversource bill.

Community Shared Solar (CSS) for the Rest of Us:

CSS makes Brookline solarizing much more inclusive. You don’t need to own property. You don’t need to have a sunny roof. You can be a business or non-profit organization. With Community Shared Solar, everyone can benefit.