How Community Solar Works

Back on March 2, I wrote about Relay Power, which is marketing community solar programs around Massachusetts. Today, I had an hour-long call with Relay Power to learn more about it.

Currently, they’re working with 12 solar farms around the state, with at least 3 more to come online this year. The one we talked about is being built on a landfill in Dover. The basic premise is that I would commit to buying power from x number of solar panels from their development partner, Blue Wave, for 20 years. In exchange, Blue Wave would provide power to me at a 10% discount to the current pricing (the whole bill, not just the generation) that I get from my utility. That’s pretty much it.

What’s the catch? As far as I can tell the only risk is if I move. There’s a $1,250 early cancellation, but only if they’re not able to find someone to pickup my contract. According to them, there’s always a waiting a list so they discount that possibility, but of course, I think it’s a pretty real risk. .

We talked some numbers and for my consumption over a year, we’re probably talking about a 24-panel package. That’s a lot of power! Blue Wave operates 3 other farms around southeast Massachusetts, so I’m going to look into experiences with those, as well as read the contrast they sent over pretty carefully. It’s a promising development.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • mrhe March 14, 2017, 6:03 am

    So more or less this is getting solar power without the upfront expense of installing them on your roof? Sounds like a pretty sweet deal potentially.

  • One Civic Act March 14, 2017, 9:15 am

    Indeed. The early cancellation fee is worth about 10 years of cost savings. The carbon emissions savings are forever. But there are 14 pages of legal small print I need to review…

Next post:

Previous post:

sign up for my free pdf on

How you can raise your civic engagement one civic act at a time

Don’t feel helpless or that you don’t have enough time. Civic engagement starts with a single act. I’m here to help you focus on what you believe in, commit to a plan of action and take that first act.

Sign up for my free PDF on “How you can raise your civic engagement with one civic act.”

give your support

Can you help me inspire others to make one civic act? Support me on Patreon and I’ll give you special perks and a chance to chime in on the direction of One Civic Act.