HARVARD — Harvard is one of 4 Massachusetts towns selected via lottery to participate in the “Solarize Massachusetts” pilot, launched by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). The goal is to construct 400 small-scale solar photovoltaic (“PV”) systems between the four communities. The other three towns are Hatfield, Winchester, and Scituate.

The “Solarize” project partners pre-vetted solar PV “integrators” with property owners. The aim is to provide education, free solar assessments, information on different ownership and financing models, and installation services for both residential and commercial properites.

The goal is to drive down the costs of installation of smaller PV solar arrays which tend to skew higher than larger-scale projects. To reduce the costs, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and MassCEC have launched the one year pilot program to educate, streamline marketing efforts and aggregate sales.

An informational session for residents interested in learning more about the program is scheduled for Thursday, May 12 at 7 p.m. in Volunteers Hall at the new Harvard Library. The event is sponsored by the Harvard Energy Advisory Committee.

Starting in early June, interested customers will have approximately four (4) months to sign up for the Pilot and partner with an Integrator. The Integrator will then assess individual sites, work with interested customers to design appropriate systems, and contract with the customer for installation of the PV system, which must be completed within one year.

Customers who choose to participate in the Solarize Massachusetts Pilot will be eligible for incentives equivalent to the Commonwealth Solar II Rebate Program. The Integrator will assist individual customers in applying for rebates.

The number of rebates will be capped at 400. Each Green Community will be guaranteed 50 rebates each. The remaining 200 rebates will be open to all four communities on a first-come, first-served basis until the cap is reached.

The anticipated customer sign-up period is early June through September 30, when program rebate applications would be due back. The deadline for any solar installations would be one year from the awarding of any rebate.