Chicopee is part of the Springfield Metropolitan Area, and is the second-largest municipality in western Massachusetts with a population of over 55,000. The city was originally a part of Springfield, but becoming an independent town in 1848. Chicopee is nicknamed “The Crossroads of New England” because many state roads and interstate highways meet in the city, which has turned Chicopee into an important logistics and transportation hub.
The region that eventually became Chicopee was settled in 1660, and by 1678 the village already had its first sawmill. Over the following centuries other industries also flourished, including ironworking and textile manufacturing.
Today, Chicopee is home to a thriving solar power industry, and the city is now home to several significant solar farms:
Chicopee has its own municipal utility, Chicopee Electric Light (CEL), and as a result the local electricity price is lower than in the rest of the state; while investor-owned utilities charge up to 20 cents per kWh (kilowatt-hour), CEL charges slightly over 12 cents per kWh. CEL rates have remained stable over recent years. However, solar panels are very affordable in Chicopee, and a solar power system can reduce your electricity expenses significantly.
Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) provide an excellent source of income for solar panel owners. Each time your system generates 1,000 kWh of solar energy, you are awarded one SREC. As of 2017, SRECs are being traded for around $270 each. Combining your SREC income of $270 with your electric bill savings of $120, the total economic value of generating 1,000 kWh with your own solar panels is around $390!
In addition to selling SRECs, solar panel owners are eligible to receive rebates and tax benefits that make solar panels more affordable in Chicopee:
Keep in mind that tax credits are not calculated based on the full cost – the CEL rebate must be deducted first, and the calculation is based on the net cost. However, this means that residents of Chicopee can get a solar system for about half price. There are also several financing options available for those who qualify. Paying for your solar system through a loan allows you to go solar with $0 down and start saving from the first day your system is installed.