Save with solar in Plymouth, Massachusetts

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Plymouth, Massachusetts

Plymouth, settled by Pilgrims in 1620 as the first New England colony, is named after the British city from which the Pilgrims set sail aboard the Mayflower. The city is one of the oldest in the country, with a rich history dating back to the colonial era. Plymouth is also famous for being the location of the first Thanksgiving. Nowadays, Plymouth boasts a population of over 58,000 and is the largest municipality in Massachusetts in terms of land area.

Throughout the 19th century, Plymouth was a thriving industrial city and port, relying on its main industries of shipbuilding, and fishing. Today, commercial activity focuses on tourism, given the historical importance of the city, but Plymouth has also seen significant developments in renewable energy.

The solar power industry has become active in Plymouth over recent years. The large available areas of land provide an excellent chance to develop solar and wind farms. Here are some of the largest projects in Plymouth:

  • The Lepomis Solar Project has been operational since 2014, and it has an installed capacity of 5.99 megawatts. The project uses a total of 20,000 solar panels and covers an area of 37 acres.
  • The Keith & Monica Mann cranberry farm, located in Plymouth, has four wind turbines with a capacity of 2 MW each. The project has been operational since August 2016.

Solar Power in Plymouth, MA

Eversource charges some of the highest electricity rates in the nation. During peak demand hours, residential rates can exceed 20 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). However, this is good news for those who install solar panels on their property; high electric utility rates translate to large energy savings for home and business owners who deploy solar panels. Additionally, Eversource rates have increased significantly over recent years with a 10% increase in 2016 alone. Those who deploy solar will not only save on energy immediately, but annual savings are expected to increase as utility rates continue to increase.

Power bill savings are not the only financial benefit for home and business owners who deploy solar panels in Plymouth. For every 1,000 kWh of solar energy produced, you are awarded one Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC), and these can then be sold for $270 or more (as of early 2017). When you add power bill savings (estimated to be $200 per 1,000 kWh in Plymouth) and SREC sales, the total economic benefit of solar power is 47 cents per kWh, or $470 for every 1,000 kWh your system produces.

There are also tax benefits available in Plymouth, making solar an even more attractive investment. There are four different tax benefits available to residents of Plymouth that make solar panels more affordable:

  • No sales tax for solar panel systems, which represents immediate upfront savings.
  • No property tax increase: Solar panels typically increase your home value by more than $20,000, but your tax burden stays the same.
  • State tax credit: You can deduct 15% of your solar power investment from your state taxes, up to a maximum value of $1,000.
  • Federal tax credit: For all solar panel systems deployed before 2020, system owners can claim 30% of the cost of the solar system as a credit on their next tax declaration.

For those who cannot afford to pay for solar upfront, financing your system through a low-interest loan may be the best option. If you can qualify for a loan with favorable terms, you can go solar and start saving money immediately without having to pay anything upfront. The combination of energy savings, SREC sales, and tax benefits is very often much larger than the monthly loan payments. Even if you can’t purchase a solar system upfront, you can still cover the full cost of a solar loan and save some money each month with clean, renewable energy.