Brockton is one of the largest cities in Massachusetts with over 95,000 inhabitants.. As the hometown of Marvin Hagler and Rocky Marciano, two of the most successful boxers of all time, Brockton has been nicknamed “The City of Champions.”
Innovation in the electrical industry is nothing new in Brockton; it was the first city in the world to have a three-wire underground power grid, created by Thomas Alva Edison. Brockton’s City Theater become one of the first customers of underground power in the US. Brockton is also home to the first fire station running on electric power in the USA.
The Brockton Brightfield is the best-known solar power project in the city. Although its capacity of 425 kilowatts is relatively small compared to projects in neighboring cities, there are many factors that make the project special:
Many local companies have also deployed solar panel systems for self-consumption. For example, JLS Mailing Services has the goal of generating 100% of the energy it consumes from renewable sources. In 2015, the company installed over 2,000 solar panels on its rooftop. Sign Design, another Brockton-based firm, has a solar panel system that can meet 50% of its electricity demand.
Brockton is located within the National Grid service area, and electricity rates in Brockton can be as high as 20 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) during peak demand. In November 2016, the base rate was increased by nearly 2 cents per kWh, providing even more reasons to deploy solar panels in Brockton. With electricity prices already on the rise in Brockton, solar panels can protect home and business owners from future rate increases.
Brockton also has a Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) market, which can provide extra income beyond the normal energy savings:
Keep in mind that the value of SRECs tends to decrease over time, as local utility companies get closer to the renewable energy target set forth by the local Renewable Portfolio Standard. The Renewable Portfolio Standard in Massachusetts is currently 25% of all electricity by the year 2030, with a specific solar power goal of 1,600 MW by 2020. If you deploy solar panels before the SREC price drops, you will earn much more money in the long run.
Brockton also offers generous tax benefits for solar panel systems; home and business owners can waive the sales tax on a solar system. Also, solar panel owners are exempt from property tax increases that would result from the increase in home value after installing solar panels. In addition, all residents of Massachusetts can deduct 15% of their solar power investment from their state tax burden, up to $1,000. These tax benefits are in addition to the 30% federal tax credit, which is available throughout the US.
Qualified home and business owners can deploy solar panel systems at zero net cost through low-interest loan. Solar panel owners can often pay off the loan with a combination of energy savings, tax benefits, and SREC sales.