Solarize MDI is a new initiative of A Climate to Thrive that seeks to make going solar affordable for homeowners and businesses. The price of installing solar panels has already fallen by more than 50% since 2009, but even more savings are possible through a combination of bulk purchasing, rebates, and creative financing.
Solarize MDI program is based on a very successful model being used in Freeport, York, Bath and over 60 towns in Massachusetts where the cost of new solar installations have been reduced 10-20% with no interruption in service and lower overall electricity costs. Through Solarize Freeport for example, 70 homes had solar PV panels installed in one month.
Our first step of the project is to gather a list of names of MDI residents and businesses interested in making the switch to solar with roof panels, a ground installation on their property, or through a community solar farm. On Election Day more than 650 MDI residents that we talked with outside the polling stations signed up for more information. We were overwhelmed with the positive response that we received from residents on their ...
- desire to switch to solar electricity if it is affordable
- interest in bulk purchasing of heat pumps, energy audits, efficiency improvements etc.
- support for addressing climate change on a local level
The second step is to assess the readiness of interested parties and the solar potential of their homes. Once we develop an accurate list of homes and businesses ready to go, we will send a Request for Proposal (RFP) to licensed Maine solar installers interested in bidding on the project as a whole. Being able to complete multiple projects in a short time frame reduces their expenses for labor and materials. This translates to substantial savings for participating homeowners and businesses.