Massachusetts Solar Quadruples, Among Most Affordable in U.S.
RevoluSun, a leading solar installation installer based in Hawaii has compiled Massachusetts Clean Energy Center data showing that between 2010 and 2012, residential solar installations more than quadrupled in the state.
Photovoltaic (PV) installations grew from 737 in 2010 to 2882 in 2012 or about four times over 3 years. Massachusetts is sixth on the nation’s list in terms of the most solar installations. California, Arizona, and New Jersey top the list, with Nevada, North Carolina, Hawaii, and Maryland also major players.
Financing Solar Installations in Massachusetts
In the released data, RevoluSun shows that a typical residential solar installation will cost about $32,000. After federal and state tax credits, this number drops by about 30% to $19,400. Over the first twenty years, the typical resident will see about $35,000 in electric bill savings, well below the $19,000 investment. Adding solar buy-back from the utility to this (about $21,000), total savings an income can amount to $56,000 over the first twenty years alone, or about $2800 per year on average.
Most installations were financed through solar leasing (68%), but almost a third were financed out-of-pocket through direct purchasing.
Incentives for solar installation purchases attract a great deal of interest, but low-interest financing has made solar installations even more popular because of the affordability of payment structures. Financing allows solar to be more affordable by keeping payments about the same as former electric bills. Even after payback on the system, homeowners continue to earn income and save for years afterward.
Massachusetts residents and businesses pay the seventh highest electric rates in the nation, only behind Alaska, Hawaii, California and a few other North Eastern states. Yet, the state has the second lowest installation costs in the country as well as more than 200 solar companies headquartered here.
The affordability of solar for both homeowners and businesses in Massachusetts has allowed the state to reach solar energy mandates much earlier than expected. In early May, Gov. Patrick announced that the state’s goal for solar set in 2007 for 250 megawatts of residential and business solar energy installed in the state had been reached four years early. With the announcement, the Governor’s office set a new 1,600 MW goal to be reached by 2020.
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