Commercial Solar Benefits with Massachusetts SMART

Why Now is the Perfect Time to Go Solar in Massachusetts

As many public entities and businesses struggle through the current health and economic crisis, we’re excited to share some positive news for those in Massachusetts: new solar incentives are available and better than ever!

Super-Charge Your Energy Savings with Solar+Storage

Solar energy is a powerful way to reduce electricity overhead expenses for cities, towns and schools. Solar energy plus energy storage is even more powerful.

The potential for your organization to save and profit from solar has entered a new dimension with the introduction of solar with energy storage systems. Being able to store clean, low-cost solar electricity and use it at the most strategic times is a game-changer,  increasing both the revenue and savings of the system can provide.

Government leaders and utilities like energy storage for its economic and environmental benefits. Their interest has spurred the creation of compelling incentives for installing solar paired with storage, or Solar+Storage as it’s often called. These state and utility incentives, combined with a federal tax credit have created a new way for renewable energy to benefit the host, the owner and the environment.

Since municipalities and schools don’t pay income taxes and can’t claim the tax credit, the value of those incentives are passed along to you by Solect Energy in the form of low monthly lease payments, which significantly reduce your electricity overhead expense.


For school administrators, budget directors and school board members, the annual budgeting cycle is high-pressure to say the least. And it never seems to end. You can be wrapping up last year’s budget, managing the current year’s budget and planning next year’s budget all at the same time!

Sometimes it can feel like no one else understands how much it costs to provide a quality education amidst ever-changing priorities. And because schools often represent half or more of the total municipal budget, all cost-cutting seems to start with you.

But there is a simple way to inject something positive into the budgeting process. Instead of being treated as an obstacle to a balanced budget, you could be the hero. We’re talking about solar energy.


Energy storage systems, also called battery systems, are increasingly popular with commercial and industrial business owners for three reasons:

  1. They provide some emergency backup electricity during power outages.
  2. They allow businesses to use stored solar electricity instead of buying expensive utility electricity when prices are at a premium.
  3. They reduce utility “demand charges” and thereby further reduce a company’s electricity overhead expense.

That last benefit is the least understood of the three, but can easily be worth thousands of dollars to business leaders who own their office or other facilities.


For City and Town managers, treasurers and finance committees, the annual budgeting cycle is high-pressure to say the least. And it never seems to end. But there is an easy way to inject something positive into the budgeting process, and to bring some welcome relief to the budgeting table. Solar energy.

Solar is a simple and fast way for you to reduce your operating expenses and generate new revenue, with no upfront capital expenditure and no competitive RFP. Best of all, clean solar energy is non-controversial and an easy sell at Town Meeting.


Business owners who assume they can’t get a solar energy project going before the 30% federal investment tax credit (ITC) on solar decreases at the end of 2019 will like this news.

Yes, the window on the full 30% ITC is closing, but tax-paying entities can sneak in before it drops thanks to a “Safe Harbor” provision being offered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). A gift from the government might seem hard to believe, but this is real.


WOBURN, Mass., Oct. 16, 2019 – Solect Energy has completed the installation of a 300-kilowatt (kW) DC solar energy system on the roof of the Daniel L. Joyce Middle School at 55 Locust Street, Woburn Mayor Scott Galvin announced today.

The 798-panel system will reduce the school’s price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity by 64 percent, saving approximately $29,000 in the first year. Over the life of the contract, electric bill savings are projected to be at least $500,000, based on current Eversource electricity rates. If the utility’s rates rise, the savings to the school increase.



The renewable energy system will reduce air pollution by avoiding the emission of 580,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air per year. Over 20 years, the avoided CO2 emissions equate to that of driving a car 13,450,000 miles.

The Joyce Middle School solar energy system is the first of three the City is installing on local schools with Solect Energy, under the PowerOptions consortium program. Solar panels will also be installed on the Hurld-Wyman Elementary School and the Goodyear Elementary School. The solar panels will produce clean energy, which will be used right at the site to power the schools.

“The City of Woburn is a designated Green Community and we have undertaken ambitious energy efficiency measures, saving money for the City and reducing our carbon footprint. We are already enjoying substantial savings as a result of two recently completed solar array projects. The hugely successful 3.4 Mega Watt (MW) solar farm built on the former land fill has generated over $1.3 in net metering revenue for the city over the last two years. In addition, our 260 kW solar system on the Kennedy Middle School roof has generated over $30,000 / year in energy savings for the School Department,” said Mayor Scott Galvin.


Commercial Solar System - Joyce Middle School


“Every dollar saved on our electric bills is a dollar we can apply to students, which was a major factor in the decision to go solar. But we benefit from this renewable energy system academically, too. Solect Energy’s web-based monitoring application will be used by teachers as part of our STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curriculum,” said Woburn Public Schools Superintendent Matthew Crowley, Ph.D.

“The City of Woburn is a long-time member of PowerOptions, and we are proud that they’ve turned to us again for their solar needs. Our mission is to help communities save time and money on energy, so more resources can be directed toward serving the public. With our program, Woburn sees the full benefits of state and federal incentives through their lower price—a win for students, teachers and community members,” said PowerOptions CEO Cynthia A. Arcate.

“The City of Woburn shows great leadership in recognizing that solar is an easy way to save money that can then be redirected to more important uses. Mayor Galvin and Superintendent Crowley also realized some time ago that solar is a fast way to achieve those savings, thanks to the efficiency of contracting through the PowerOptions Solar Program with Solect,” said Solect Energy CEO Ken Driscoll.

Together, Solect Energy and PowerOptions have reduced energy costs for more than 60 government agencies, cities, towns, schools and nonprofits across Massachusetts.


About PowerOptions

Established in 1998, PowerOptions is a nonprofit energy buying consortium that delivers cost savings and predictability to nonprofits and the public sector in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. With more than 400 members, collective strength yields optimal pricing and stability for the entire membership of organizations both large and small. Any nonprofit or public entity is eligible to join PowerOptions and benefit from programs for electricity supply, natural gas supply, solar and electric vehicle charging stations. For more information, go to

About Solect Energy

Solect Energy of Hopkinton, Mass., is the tenth-largest commercial solar developer in the country. Solect helps commercial and industrial businesses, state government, cities and towns, and nonprofits in New England and Illinois transform the way they manage and optimize energy. The company’s services include solar financing, design, engineering, installation, operations and maintenance, 24/7 system monitoring, and utility bill monitoring. Products include rooftop and canopy solar energy systems, and solar energy storage systems that provide electricity during power outages, and the ability to use stored solar when utility prices are at a premium. Solect was founded in 2009 and employs 70 people.

Go Solar Today for the Maximum 30% Federal Tax Credit

If you are a commercial business or real estate owner interested in reducing your taxes and electricity bills, you should be aware of a looming deadline that affects the financial benefits of going solar. Deadlines are a regular occurrence when it comes to incentives for solar energy systems, but this one is a very big deal.

The U.S. Investment Tax Credit (ITC) essentially pays you back 30% of the cost of the solar array installed on your business – that means equipment and installation — in the form of a tax credit.

This is not a tax deduction. It’s a lucrative credit that lops 30% of your solar price tag right off your tax bill. For example, a typical 200-kilowatt (kW) commercial system could generate a $150,000 tax credit, saving the owner that same amount in tax payments.