With a population of over 40,000, Leominster is the second-largest city in the Worcester County. Leominster was settled as a farming community in 1640, but is best known for its history of innovation in the plastics industry. The local economy shifted from farming to manufacturing in the early 19th century, and comb manufacturing was among the most successful industries.
In recent years, Leominster has taken steps to be a more sustainable city that runs on clean energy. For example, the city is now home to a large solar farm, with an installed capacity of 2.5 megawatts (MW). The project is built on a former industrial site, covering an area of 15 acres with nearly 9,000 solar modules. It has been operational since April 2015, and the energy generated is enough to power 400 typical households.
Additionally, the Leominster Kingdom Hall was the second net-zero energy building in the entire state of Massachusetts. The building is equipped with a 27-kilowatt (kW) solar panel system, a geothermal heat pump, and an electric vehicle charging station.
Leominster is served by National Grid, who charges around 20 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), an electricity price that exceeds the US average by more than 50%. In addition, National Grid rates are constantly increasing; between 2016 and 2017, its customers saw their power bills increase by more than 10%. With electricity prices that are high and constantly on the rise, solar panels become a very attractive investment.
In addition to reducing your power bills, a solar panel system will also accumulate Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). Basically, you are awarded one SREC for every 1,000 kWh generated by your solar panel system, and these can be sold for around $270 each as of 2017. Keep in mind that you obtain SRECs even if you consume the energy generated, so the income from SREC sales is in addition to your power bill savings.
Owners of solar panel systems in Leominster also benefit from various tax incentives, reducing the overall cost of ownership.
If you are unable to purchase a solar panel system upfront, there are many financing options available. These low-interest rate loans can allow home and business owners to go solar with $0 down. With a long repayment period, your solar panels can pay for themselves through energy savings, SREC sales, and tax credits. Once you pay off your solar loan, your system will continue to produce free solar energy.