Natick is a "solar suburb" and has experienced tremendous growth in the solar installs since 2010. The Town has sought to support this market by leading by example with municipal installs and and by hosting two bulk-buy (Solarize) campaigns.
An interactive map of solar projects that were permitted since 2012 are available here. This map denotes projects that were contracted through the 2017 Solarize Mass Natick program with a green marker.
Nameplate capacity, also known as installed capacity, defines the maximum energy production of area solar arrays.
In Natick, we currently have 9.7 megawatts of operating solar photovoltaic systems, with an additional 1.7 megawatts that is in development and has been qualified for state incentives. This capacity has been installed on a variety of facilities: 38% is residential, 30% is retail, 16% is commercial, 13% on K-12 schools, 3% on state property (such as the MassPike) and a small balance on healthcare and multi-family properties.
More than 400 Natick homeowners have installed roof-mounted solar arrays. Overall, we have seen this number increase every year since 2012, and have also seen production increase and costs decrease.
The average size of a residential solar array in 2016 was 7.55 kilowatts DC (vs. 5.85 kW in 2012). The average cost per watt of residential systems installed in 2016 was $4.50 (vs. $5.31 in 2010).
For additional details on the locations of residential solar arrays in Natick, please review our interactive map.
Solarize Mass Natick, a program sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Department of Energy Resources, came to a record-breaking end on October 1st, 2016. 155 residents and one small business signed contracts to go solar through the program - adding more than 1.2 megawatts to Natick's solar capacity.
The Solarize nonprofit referral program also resulted in $16,100 in donations to local nonprofits. Since the program topped 100 installations, Boston Solar is also donating a solar array worth $25,000 to a Natick nonprofit.
Overall, Natick's solar efforts have made our community a national leader for solar production.
A measure of our success is our solar capacity, as measured by watts of solar per capita. Based on the 2010 census numbers, Natick has 192 Watts per capita installed, which is above the top 20% of states (>99 watts/person).