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City to East Boston: Here comes the sun

The city today announced a program called Solarize Eastie aimed at getting more solar panels on local roofs through discounts and other incentives.

The pilot, run with GreenRoots of Chelsea:

Offers a variety of payment support, including a 15% discount below the average cost of solar PV installation, up-front subsidies for income-eligible building owners, and no-cost options.

In a related program, the city will work with Mass Save to provide "cost-saving energy efficiency solutions to residents, small businesses, houses of worship, and local nonprofits," in East Boston - along with in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan.

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Has anyone done solar panels in a downtown-adjacent neighborhood, or Cambridge?

https://www.eversource.com/content/docs/default-source/builders-contract... has vague information that the electric distribution network in certain parts of the "Network Area" "may present challenges" to solar panel systems. They don't explain what these challenges are, or what you can do about them.

Other websites say the customer has to reach out to Eversource about this, since solar contractors won't have this information, but when I tried I just got an autoresponse saying to submit my inquiry through Power Clerk, whatever that is.

Voting closed 12

While there are legit technical concerns about a lot of small points of energy generation potentially pooting out power onto the grid and then maybe reversing and pulling from the grid, the main "challenge" for Eversource is that their business model could potentially be undermined by this if everybody did it (along with energy efficiency measures).
IMAGE(https://www.cartoonistgroup.com/properties/grimmy/art_images/MGG1081005.jpg )

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Ok, but why are there extra challenges in certain parts of Boston, Cambridge and New Bedford, and not in all the other towns Eversource serves?

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So I've been thinking about panels for a while but I get mixed things when I tell installers I have a flat roof. Some residential companies like Solar City won't install on flat roofs. Some do. Out of the 7 places I called, only 3 will do flat roofs (and are willing to build the floating thing on the roof you'll need to angle them)

Will be interesting to see how this is combated because eastie is a ton of flat roofs.

Voting closed 11

Always weird to me that this area has so many old residential buildings built with flat roofs. If anything, snow loads were worse when they were built, and people tended to live in their triple decker they were renting out instead of owning 20 of them and living on the north shore, so did people not care as much that flat roofs are so much leakier than angled?

Voting closed 8

Was there some zoning reason preventing peaked roofs, like a height limit which triple-deckers were built up to?

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Energysage.com has a service that connects property owners to installers. I have used it (though I ultimately didn't get a system for reasons unrelated) and got a handful of quotes. They are customized enough that the flat roof is something you could specify in your profile. Then installers contact you with quotes.

Voting closed 4

Solar panels didn’t work well for homeowners in this area of the country when it was introduced in the 1980s I wouldn’t want to place any solar panels on my roof .

Voting closed 4