New Boston-based community solar company launches


A new community solar provider has opened up shop in Boston. Perch Energy is a spinoff, riding in on the waves of its predecessor BlueWave Solar. Perch will build on its proven community solar services and management platform, and said it plans to add talent and resources to expand its direct-to-consumer energy platform. 

Perch has initiated more than 6,300 community solar subscriptions for homes, businesses, and municipalities. The company said it has provided an estimated $9.7 million in savings to date. Perch has a wide set of community solar packages, serving both homeowners, renters, and businesses. The team has over 500MW of contracted experience behind it. 

Perch performs acquisition support, detailed client reporting, customer communications, credit management, customer support and service, and a software management platform to streamline reporting. 

In addition to community solar, Perch’s platform allows customers to connect to other clean energy sources. The company performs continuous market analysis to offer customers a transparent snapshot of all clean energy options available to them locally. Perch said it plans to scale its business to a growing list of US markets. 

Community solar in Massachusetts 

Perch’s home state of Massachusetts was one of the first to offer community solar options in the country. The Green Communities Act of 2008 established the state’s first solar carve-out, part of its renewable portfolio standard. The carve-out targeted an initial 400MW deployment across the state, about 1% of the total electricity use of the state at the time. The 2008 Act also established the state’s virtual net metering policy, allowing customers to receive bill credits for energy generated at offsite community solar facilities.  

The Institute of Local Self-Reliance estimates Massachusetts has 595MW in operating community solar capacity over 386 projects. Top marks go to Minnesota, which has 819MW over 415 projects. New York notably has 643MW over 456 projects, and Colorado ranks after Massachusetts in fourth with 96MW over 81 projects. 

New York is set to be a particularly strong community solar development hub, as Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) efforts led to boosted incentive values for the NY Sun program. The program has been extended and expanded, paving the way for more growth. 

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