Business Profile: Clean Energy Collective, Worcester, MA

You may know the story of how Clean Energy Collective got its start in the mountain town of Carbondale, Colorado, but did you know CEC also has an office in Massachusetts? That’s because CEC has more operational and in-development community solar arrays in the Commonwealth than any other company.

Based in Worcester one hour west of Boston, the office serves as CEC’s regional hub in the northeast, supporting operations in New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, and Maryland. The Massachusetts team consists of 17 passionate solar energy professionals doing land procurement, land planning, project development, business development, sales, and policy and regulatory functions across the northeast. Just like everyone at CEC, their mission is to make affordable, local clean power generation available and accessible to all electricity customers through community solar.

The CEC team is building an impressive portfolio of RooflessSolar projects throughout Massachusetts, with 31 community solar PV facilities representing 43 Megawatts (MW) of clean power built to date, reflecting a market investment of more than $120 million.  With 5 more projects under construction and dozens more under development, those numbers are sure to continue to grow.  This is in addition to crafting and advocating for smart community solar policy in states Like New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, and Maryland, essentially helping to create new community solar markets in the northeast.

Massachusetts has been a national leader in the community solar space. This is due in part to smart policies and program structures that promote community solar development. Massachusetts has 65 MW of community solar in the state, ranking number 2 in the nation for community solar installations. 40 out of those 65 MW were added in 2016 alone, making the state a major contributor to the fact that the community solar market quadrupled from 2015 to 2016.

“Massachusetts’ leadership in solar energy development, especially community solar development, is what made it a no-brainer for CEC to locate an office in the state,” said Jeff Lord, Senior Vice President of Project Development based in the CEC Worcester office. “We’re proud to be able to lead the community solar industry in Massachusetts and across the northeast.”

Community solar refers to locally sited solar PV facilities shared by individual community members that receive credits on their electricity bills for their portion of the power produced. As many as 70 percent of American consumers and businesses do not currently have access to solar. As such, community solar has been identified as the next largest solar growth market in the US (GTM Research). The solar industry now employs nearly 300,000 Americans, more than auto manufacturing or coal mining. With more than 15,000 solar workers in Massachusetts, the industry continues to be an economic development and job creation engine for the Commonwealth.

CEC’s projects are located across service territories and load zones, committed to serving businesses, municipalities, schools, non-profits, and residents in Eversource and National Grid service territories.