The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has some exciting news on the solar hot water front. Our latest round of solar hot water awards brought the total awarded projects close to 200, and the capacity of MassCEC’s residential solar hot water program to over 1,000 kW. Known as the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Program, this rebate program provides funding for the installation of solar hot water projects by professional installers at residential, multi-family and commercial-scale buildings.
A solar thermal system generates heat from sunlight. Solar collectors, or panels, are typically mounted on the roof. The rest of the system usually includes a pump and piping to circulate a heating liquid from the collectors to heat an insulated storage tank, and a controller to automatically operate the pump. Residential solar hot water systems can heat water for laundry, bathing and washing dishes, and can often provide 50 to 80 percent of a household’s total hot water needs. Depending on a household’s heating system, there are also solar hot water systems that can provide space heating.
In addition to MassCEC’s Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Residential and Commercial Programs, MassCEC has provided funding for 16 large-scale solar hot water projects serving over 5,000 residents through our Low Income Solar Thermal Program. In partnership with the Low Income Energy Affordability Network (LEAN), and technical consultants BEAM Engineering and Paradigm Partners, the program funds the installation of solar hot water systems at multi-family residential and nonprofit facilities serving low income residents and participants.
One recent LEAN project is the solar hot water system on the Squirrel Brand Building in Cambridge, a low-income, multi-family residential facility. Squirrel Brand was a former candy factory, known for its Squirrel Nut Zippers (chewy peanut caramels), and is now an affordable 18-unit complex with a public park and community gardens. The solar hot water system is a flat plate system that will provide about half of the domestic hot water needs for the building’s 40 residents.
There are a lot of great incentives currently available for the installation of solar projects in Massachusetts that will lower your energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Dam Ice posted on Mar 12
You may have noticed many “falling ice” signs around town. Personally, I recently counted five of them on my way to the coffee shop. The icicles and falling ice are actually caused by ice dams, and the Building Science Corporation (BSC) and Massachusetts Department of …Continue Reading Dam Ice
Fish Need Clean Energy, Too posted on Feb 18
Running a fish farm is an intense operation, one that requires a lot of labor and a large amount of energy. Currently, the McLaughlin Hatchery uses a significant amount of oil to heat its facility. The facility is going to replace its oil furnace with a renewable energy heating system, a new high efficiency wood pellet boiler and pellet storage silo that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 92 percent, save an estimated $11,432 annually, and reduce annual oil use by more than 5,000 gallons.
Wood Pellets are the New Oil for Regional Schools Reducing Fuel Costs posted on Feb 12
Did you know that it is possible to heat buildings in the northeast using wood biomass, a renewable energy fuel? With nearly one-third of total energy costs going toward heating our buildings, it is no wonder that Massachusetts school districts are searching for cheaper and …Continue Reading Wood Pellets are the New Oil for Regional Schools Reducing Fuel Costs