Rise and Shine, Maine: It’s Time to Solarize

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Welcome to the age of renewable energy and collaboration.

Six years ago in 2009, a group of citizens in Portland, Oregon began a community collaborative program that brings homeowners and businesses together to purchase solar energy installations for buildings in bulk deals that lowers the price per household or business. They called their program Solarize.

The Solarize approach allows groups of homeowners or businesses to work together to collectively negotiate rates, competitively select an installer, and increase demand through a creative limited-time offer to join the campaign. Ultimately, as the number of residents who participate in the program increase, the cost of the installations will decrease.”

Since its kick off in 2009, Solarize has spread across the country to dozens of communities and several states. Earlier this year, Solarize arrived in Maine through the efforts of a group in Freeport, and now there is also an initiative growing in Sacopee Valley.

As reported by Tux Turkel in the Portland Press Herald, the folks of Solarize Freeport  are interested in taking advantage of a 30% federal tax credit for solar installations that drops to 10% at the end of 2016. On top of the tax credit, Solarize Freeporters would see a 10% discount from their bulk purchasing, saving on average $1,500 per building.

So far Solarize Freeport has 39 systems involved, and they are raising more support as a September 30th deadline looms for the next batch of purchasing.

In the absence of, erhm, a more “supportive” political climate, it is encouraging to see Mainers taking matters into their own hands. More and more we are seeing this kind of self-reliance replacing the old dependency models on big fossil fuel industries.

With fossil fuel energies becoming more expensive and scarce, alternatives like solar power will soon be the norm. It’s been Island Carpentry’s plan to be ahead of the curve on green building. Why wait? Now is the time to join the solar revolution!