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Solar Project


Solar Project Goals

In line with CBE's values, there are two fundamental goals for this project. The first is environmental - to honor the earth by

  • Tikkun Olam - rebuilding the world,
  • Sh'mirat Adamah - protecting the earth

Secondly, as a practical matter, we want to lower the operational expenses. Prior to the solar project, CBE paid about $30,000 per year for electricity.


Project Overview

This effort to get solar panels for CBE started in 2016 when Bob Becker and Matt Kontoff met with a few solar installers and received quotes and attended JCAN meetings. They subsequently joining forces with Matt Liebman and Barry Nyer who added the momentum needed to move ahead. The team met with six different vendors in total. In 2019 they were finally able to bring a plan of action to the CBE board. After an extensive RFP process, the team selected 621 Energy to develop the solar project with primary financing from Sunwealth and Spring Hill.

Above, at the top of the page, is the rooftop perspective of the solar panels and below is the rough location of the solar canopies: 








Electricity from the single array in the lower lot is provided by a PPA. It directly provides a large portion of our electricity needs. This system is ‘behind the meter’ so CBE gets all the electricity it produces. Spring Hill owns the panels and sell the electricity back to CBE at a discount.

The other three rows of canopy panels are a ‘community solar‘ system. They are controlled and managed by Sunwealth, a clean energy investment firm. Electricity from these panels goes directly into the Eversource grid.  Sunwealth pays CBE to lease the land on which the canopies sit and CBE receives electricity from the community solar system at about a 25% discount. This makes up the remainder of CBE’s electricity need.

Extra electricity produced by the canopy system is made available at a 25% discount to low income households in the Commonwealth, roughly 15 families.

Both systems have zero up front cost to CBE.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the environmental benefit of doing this project?
The CBE solar project includes 4 arrays of panels (756 panels) in the lower and ELC parking lots. They will generate up to about 344,000 KWh of electricity in the first year. The more extensive parking lot canopy panels will be installed in the ELC parking lots - they will generate about 273,800 kWh of renewable energy that will go directly to the Eversource grid. Combined, the two systems are estimated to reduce the CO2 equivalent for preserving 317 acres of forest per year.

2. How much money will this solar project save CBE?
The solar canopies are expected to provide $160,000 in lease revenue and lower CBE’s projected overall electricity cost by roughly $140,000 over 20 years. 

3. How much of the solar generated electricity will go directly to CBE?
The PPA array of solar panels were installed starting September 2020 and generate 53,250 kWh in the first year, meeting 44% of our annual need. The community solar canopy panels were installed at the same time - producing about 290,000 kWh. About half of the canopy output will be used by CBE to satisfy the remaining electricity need.


System Goes Live!

Real Time System Performance
See in real time how much electricity is produced directly for CBE and for CBE & the Community.

Havdalah Service Under the Solar Canopies ♦ October 17, 2020
Rabbi Mike Rothbaum, Cantor Sarra Spierer and the CBE Solar Team held a special Havdalah service under our solar canopies in the ELC parking lot to celebrate the four year, solar canopy project going live. Due to the pandemic, the number of people attending the event in person was limited to the Solar Project committee David Leers, George Morton, Sarah Coletti, Rick Greene, local officials Senator Jamie Eldridge and Representatives Tami Gouveia and Danillo Sena. Others joined via ZOOM.

During the event, CBE received commemoration from the State House, delivered by Jamie Eldridge. 

Click on this image to view the event photo gallery:









Sunwealth Article

Max Wagner, a Sunwealth Investor Development Associate, highlights the CBE Solar Project in THIS ARTICLE.  Sunwealth is the investment company that primarily financed the project.

Mon, June 24 2024 18 Sivan 5784