Community Owned Solar Takes Shape

The first Community-owned Solar project in Massachusetts is nearing completion, with Solar Design Associates helping lead the way!

The idea of a community-owned solar project was born out the of the desire of homeowners who wish to install a PV system, but are prevented from doing so for any number of reasons.  Instead, customers purchase shares of the community solar project and through the virtual net metering process, are credited on their monthly utility bill with the amount of electricity their share has generated.

The project, known as Harvard Solar Garden  – Phase 1, is a 294 kW PV system located at Ayer Rd. in Harvard, MA that had been in development for the last few years.  It broke ground in late 2013 and is scheduled to be completed and interconnected to the local utility by the end May 2014 with a ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for early June.  Construction on Phase 2 of the Solar Garden will begin soon on the same site.  Massachusetts policy allows the Solar Garden to serve any residential and commercial customers who are served by National Grid in Central and Western MA.

Massachusetts first community owned solar

Solar Design Associates provided design, engineering and construction management for the Solar Garden and SDA founder, Steven  J. Strong, was recently interview by WGBH during which he discussed community-owned solar in general and the Harvard Solar Garden in particular.  A link to the WGHB interview and article can be viewed here.

New England Cable News (NECN) also ran with the story and interviewed Steven Strong regarding the Harvard Solar Garden.  Link to the story and video is here.

The independent media program Living On Earth interviewed Steven Strong in addition to the pioneers of the Harvard Solar Garden project; Worth Robbins and Karl Schwiegerhauser.  A recording and transcript of the interview can be found here.



For more information about the Harvard Solar Garden, please visit