Many have come online in the past six months alone, under a program that aims to increase use of solar energy throughout Massachusetts.
Jill Haley Murphy said there was "tremendous interest" in the recent solar energy drive, which she coordinated for Newbuyrport. The program lured property owners with discounts on solar panel installation. Those discounts grew as more people signed up.
At the end of the drive, 40 homes and a half-dozen businesses added photovoltaic arrays, representing an energy capacity of 423 kilowatts. Solar panel owners who don't use the power created by their systems get credits for turning that energy out into the electric grid.
Newburyport has more than 7,500 homes, according to the U.S. Census.
Not everyone who wanted a solar array got one. Many, including Haley Murphy herself, had trouble with shade, roof lines or how their homes are positioned - any of which could rule out use of a solar array.
Newburyport was one of of 17 cities and towns where the Solarize Massachusetts program focused attention this year. In 2012, the program sparked 802 solar projects - good for about 5.1 megawatts of power. Those included a system installed at a zoo in Mendon, Mass., near the Rhode Island border, and the installation of 116 systems generating up to 522 kilowatts of power in Boston.
The state-coordinated program hopes to arrange for the installation of 250 megawatts worth of solar panels by 2017. That's enough to power about 55,000 homes for a year.
Details for this story were reported by the Daily News of Newburyport, Mass.