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Installing Solar Panels in Falmouth, Massachusetts

Last Updated March 18, 2024

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Michael Jones

By Michael Jones

Michael literally wrote the book on solar (it’s called The Homeowners’ Guide to Going Solar) and has been a solar consultant for over four years.

The challenges of installing solar panels in Falmouth

Few towns on Cape Cod have made a more visible commitment to solar energy in recent years than Falmouth. From the Falmouth Landfill solar array, which came online in 2017, to the massive solar carport project on the Barnstable Fairgrounds along Nathan Ellis Highway, there are a lot of high profile installations of solar panels in Falmouth.

Many of the town’s 32,000 residents see these installations every day as they go about their business, and that can’t help but solidify in their minds the idea that solar is a viable source of electricity.

Residential Solar in Falmouth

When it comes to residential solar, each of the town’s eight villages offers distinct advantages and challenges when it comes to installing solar panels in Falmouth. Wood’s Hole, for example, probably has the fewest trees, but there aren’t too many residential properties in a village that is dominated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Martha’s Vineyard ferry terminal (also now decked out with solar panels, by the way).

Solar Panels at the Woods Hole Ferry Terminal in Falmouth

Seacoast Shores in East Falmouth, on the other hand, is a neighborhood that gets great sun, but most of the houses there are seasonal homes that are only inhabited for three or four months of the year. 

Solar can be a viable option, even for seasonal homes, but absentee owners and lower-than-average electricity usage can present challenges.

That’s not to say that Falmouth is just a summer resort. Of the almost 14,000 households in the town, about a quarter have children under that age of 18 living there. And of course, families use a lot of electricity and, theoretically at least, have a greater concern for the future of the planet.

Solar Companies Serving Falmouth

Its location less than 15 miles from the Bourne Bridge means that Falmouth is well-served by all the giant off-Cape solar companies. Sunrun, Tesla and Trinity Solar have all had a strong presence there over the years. And being right next door to Mashpee, it is also well-served by two of Cape Cod’s best-known locally-owned solar companies – Solar Rising and Cotuit Solar, both of whom are located in that neighboring town. 

And then there is Falmouth Solar, perhaps the most local of Cape Cod solar installers. Founded by former carpenter Paul Sutton as a “strategic partnership alignment”, Falmouth Solar has its roots in the construction trades and is the sort of company that makes the Cape Cod business community so unique. 

Falmouth Solar offers PPA arrangements for commercial projects but only offers purchase options for residential projects.

Permitting for Solar Projects in Falmouth

The Falmouth Building department has an online permitting process, which means that permits for solar projects come back quite quickly. I’ve seen projects move from initial consultation to installed solar panels in less than four weeks.

And although Falmouth is, by any definition, a historic Cape Cod town, it’s not subject to the same restrictions you find in towns that sit within the Old King’s Highway Historic District.

The solar carports at the Barnstable Fairgrounds are probably the largest array of solar panels in Falmouth.

Proximity to the Air Base

Like its fellow Upper Cape towns, Bourne, Sandwich and Mashpee, certain parts of Falmouth are close enough to the base that flying drones is sometimes prohibited. That didn’t used to be a problem until solar companies started using drones to conduct roof inspections at site surveys. 

Solar customers who live close to the base shouldn’t be too surprised if their site surveyor goes “old school” on them and (gasp) actually climbs a ladder to measure and inspect their roof.

Final Thoughts on Installing Solar Panels in Falmouth

Installing solar panels in Falmouth puts you on the right side of history in a town that is already way ahead of most others in the transition to renewable energy. 

As the second largest town on Cape Cod,it’s a leader in the fight against climate change and installing solar panels in Falmouth is clearly seen as a big part of that fight.

If you live in Falmouth, MA and have ever thought about installing solar panels, we’d love to help you decide. Just contact us and set up an informative, no-pressure chat about installing solar panels in Falmouth.

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