Arcadia Brings Community Solar Project to Methuen, Promises Benefits for Renters

An Arcadia community solar project. (Courtesy photograph.)

If you rent in Methuen or your house isn’t appropriate for solar panels, a new community solar project promises renewable energy and utility savings.

Washington, D.C.-based Arcadia is building a solar array at 15 Aegean Drive, Methuen, and is launching its first community solar project in Massachusetts this month along with developer Madison Energy Investments.

“The future of energy is people-powered, and we look forward to bringing Methuen households hassle-free guaranteed solar savings,” said Arcadia CEO Kiran Bhatraju. “Community solar can, and should, be easy to access for everyone in the state of Massachusetts.”

The company’s Methuen project is 230 kilowatts DC and is big enough for about 50 subscribers, the majority of whom are low-income ratepayers. A company statement said the project is the first of many for Arcadia and Madison Energy Investments in Massachusetts, with a pipeline of at least 15 projects all scheduled to come online next year. Arcadia’s Methuen project will be credited under the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target Program to grow the state’s solar market and generate millions of dollars of investment in Massachusetts.

Arcadia pledges a two-minute sign-up process with no cancellation fees or credit requirements. This compares to usual method which involves completing extensive paperwork, agreeing to lengthy contracts of 10 years or more, undergoing a credit check and paying an additional monthly electric bill.

This project is part of the state’s push to accelerate its transition to renewables. It also comes amid a nationwide surge in demand for solar and wind energy. The amount of renewable electricity being bought voluntary has increased nearly 300% since 2010. In 2018, the majority of Americans said that, if given the option, they would elect wind and solar over fossil fuel energy.

However, as many as 92% of American households are not candidates for rooftop solar because they are in multi-family homes, located in shaded areas, in buildings structurally unsound for panel installation or residents unable to get a loan due to a low credit score.

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