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State’s First Solar Cooperative to Be Built in Wendell

WENDELL — Northeast Solar, in cooperation with the Wendell Energy Committee, is offering residents of Wendell and surrounding communities the opportunity to become owners of the state’s first solar cooperative.

The co-op will be owned by community members who become member-owners of the site by purchasing part of the community solar array. Owners will receive all of the solar benefits generated at the site, located at 97 Wendell Depot Road.

“Over two-thirds of residential properties in Massachusetts are poor sites for solar. A solar cooperative allows those households to switch to clean energy,” said Greg Garrison, president of Northeast Solar.

Solar panels are typically mounted on rooftops, but close to 60% of residential buildings are not suitable sites for solar due to shading or roof condition. The solar cooperative will allow any resident to purchase solar power for their homes by buying into the centralized array.

“Owners in this system will receive a lower purchase price than standard residential installations,” Garrison said. “Co-op owners will receive the federal tax credit, Massachusetts SMART incentives, and on-bill credits to their electric bill. Within a few years, co-op owners will have fully recovered the cost of ownership and will be able to reinvest their energy dollars back into their local community.”

The Wendell Solar Cooperative will return more than $1.3 million back into the local economy over the life of the array. The site is expected to take between six and eight weeks to build. The co-op will accept 50 members, but Northeast Solar is planning more solar cooperatives in other communities to allow more residents the chance to go solar.

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