Program Overview

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The Race To Solar program was offered by HEET in 2014.  HEET will let the public know if the program is offered again in the future.

Through the Race to Solar program, eligible nonprofits in the cities of Boston and Cambridge can qualify to acquire a solar electric energy system for their school, house of worship, food pantry, community center, or other building owned by their nonprofit organization.  The goal of Race to Solar is to promote and facilitate the adoption of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems by 40 local nonprofit organizations, adding approximately one megawatt of clean, renewable electric power capacity to our communities.

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Cambridgeport Baptist Church

There are two ways for qualified nonprofits to acquire a solar energy system: (1) a solar power purchase agreement (PPA) or (2) a direct solar system purchase.

With a solar PPA, you incur no upfront expense. A financier will own, insure, and maintain the solar system installed on your roof, and they will sell the clean, renewable electricity produced by the solar system to you at a rate that’s generally lower than what you currently pay to Eversource. At the end of the 20-year PPA contract term, the financier will donate the solar system to your nonprofit to continue using at no additional cost for the rest of its useful lifespan.

An alternative to the PPA option is for you to directly purchase a solar system at a price that’s below current market prices. By purchasing a solar system, you’ll be able to take advantage of state incentives that not only save you money, but also generate income and reduce your reliance on fossil fuels for years to come.

With either solar acquisition option, your nonprofit won’t have to pay any program fees to participate in Race to Solar. You don’t have to become an expert in solar panels or technology, you won’t need to interview numerous competitive solar installers, and you won’t need to master advanced financial planning. The award-winning HEET, partnered with the cities of Boston and Cambridge, has done all of this work for you. Based on the anticipated number of participants and total solar capacity that will be installed as a result of the Race to Solar program, HEET has obtained a great rate and favorable contract options for participating nonprofits to go solar.

First Parish Solar

First Parish Solar

Expected Outcomes: 226 lighting upgrades (non-profits & other small businesses) = 9,100 tons CO2, $1,587,600* 40 non-profits install solar, 25 kW on avg. = 23,500 tons, $1,814,000*  * Metric Tons COSavings and Lifetime Money

To qualify your nonprofit for participation in Race to Solar, all you have to do is: (1) Sign up for a no-cost evaluation of your nonprofit facility through Eversources Direct Install Program, and agree to implement at least some of the energy saving recommendations proposed by the program’s representative, RISE Engineering. Incentives from Eversource cover up to 70% of the installed cost of these improvements, with 12-month interest-free financing available on your 30% share of the cost.

(2) Refer 5 small businesses that are interested in receiving a free energy saving evaluation through the Direct Install Program. (3) Join WegoWise (a free, online energy-monitoring site).  WegoWise can help you quantify your savings, and can also help you spot future problems with your plumbing or heating systems before those problems become catastrophic.


For more information about the program contact or call 617-HEET (4338)-350.

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