Community Rowing Partners with Solect Energy & PowerOptions to Bring Solar to State-of-the-Art Boathouse

October 18 – Brighton, MA. – Community Rowing Inc., a Boston-based non-profit dedicated to making rowing accessible to all individuals, has partnered with Solect Energy of Hopkinton, MA and and PowerOptions of Boston, to install an 83.7 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system on the roof of its Brighton boathouse, located on the shore of the Charles River. The solar array is expected to cover up to 40% of the organization’s annual electricity use.

True to its mantra of “Rowing for All”, Community Rowing Inc. (CRI) is constantly striving to change lives and communities by providing access to the sport of rowing to individuals regardless of ability, background, or experience. In its efforts to enrich the community and provide better programs for their members, a commitment to conservation and renewable energy seemed to be a fundamental piece to the puzzle.

“It is our belief that utilizing solar energy is a mindful business practice, so it seemed only second nature to add it to our portfolio of conservation practices and green initiatives,” said Bruce Smith, Executive Director at CRI. Smith continued, “As a non-profit, we are constantly balancing the associated costs of services and our ability to invest in capital expenditures. The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) provided through Solect Energy and PowerOptions allows CRI to not only invest in our facility, but the annual savings provides us with the opportunity to offer more services to our members.”

Community Rowing Inc. and Solect entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) through PowerOptions Small Systems Solar Program, which chose Solect as its exclusive developer through a competitive RFP solicitation. Under the program, Solect owns and operates the solar array, and sells the power generated back to the organization at a reduced, fixed rate for a period of 20 years. Community Rowing Inc. is projected to save over $9,000 annually on its electricity bill, and up to $188,000 throughout the course of the 20-year PPA.

“We took a great deal of pride in completing this project for CRI,” said Stephen Clairmont, Director of Business Development at Solect. “It is an honor to help them maximize their positive impact on the community through the use of cleaner, less expensive energy, especially when the organization is dedicated to investing those savings into its philanthropic initiatives and programs.”

In addition to the solar installation, CRI’s facilities also feature a number of other sustainable innovations including a geothermal well with a subterranean 15,000-gallon tank that stores excess rainwater for maintenance and irrigation. The functionality of the building continues to permeate throughout its architecture with natural light and ventilation coming into the building through louvers, bi-folding operable vents, and glass shingles. The exceptional structure has been recognized for its functionality and composition multiple times when it was awarded the Harleston Parker Medal in ’09-’10, and recognized by the American Institute of Architects 2014 Institute Honor Awards Program. CRI is also researching methods to reduce its water consumption, installing LED lighting, and initiating workplace composting in an effort to cut its carbon footprint.


About Community Rowing Inc.

Rowing changes lives. At Community Rowing Inc. (CRI) we are dedicated to fostering a community that is both welcoming and supportive. Under the banner of Rowing for All we make rowing accessible without regard to individual ability, background or experience. We seek to raise the standard of rowing programs through internal excellence and to share our knowledge and expertise with others for the advancement of the sport at all levels.

About Solect Energy

Solect is a full-service solar photovoltaic (PV) project developer and installer based in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, delivering smart solar and energy management solutions to help businesses and organizations reduce energy costs. As an industry leader in commercial-scale solar energy, Solect takes a practical approach to the development, installation and on-going support of each system. We partner closely with our customers, providing strong financial insight and solar technology expertise to optimize their investment while creating a positive impact on the environment. Solect currently has installed over 40 MW (megawatts) of commercial PV systems, with a primary focus on commercial, light industrial and institutional properties in New England. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @SolectSolar.

About PowerOptions

Headquartered in Boston, Mass., PowerOptions is the largest energy buying consortium of its kind in New England, serving nearly 500 nonprofit organizations and government entities with combined annual energy sales of approximately $200 million. With a 95 percent member retention rate, a proven supplier selection process and a dedication to personalized customer service, PowerOptions provides programs, services and solutions that educate and bring value to its membership.  Established in 1998, any nonprofit or public institution in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut is eligible to participate in this collective purchasing effort. For more information, visit