Five years ago, Massachusetts had just 3.5 megawatts (MW) of solar power installed. Today, thanks to the leadership of the Patrick-Murray Administration, there are now 72 MW of solar power capacity installed in Massachusetts – enough to power 12,264 homes for a year.
The Commonwealth initiated its first program for solar PV rebates and partnerships in 2001, funded through a small renewable energy charge on electric utility bills. But solar really took off when, in April 2007, when Governor Patrick announced a goal of 250 MW of installed solar power by 2017 and launched the Commonwealth Solar (CommSolar) program in January 2008.
Of the $22 billion the Commonwealth spends annually to buy the energy that runs its power plants, buildings and vehicles, 80 percent flows out of state to purchase coal from Colombia, oil from Venezuela, and natural gas and oil from the Middle East and Canada. That’s nearly $18 billion in lost economic opportunity that Massachusetts stands poised to reclaim through investments in home-grown renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Making solar a cornerstone of the Commonwealth’s clean energy economy has created a vibrant industry. In 2007, just 50 solar installers were doing business in Massachusetts, while today there are more than 250 solar installers. Solar energy is the most prominent renewable energy technology area for Massachusetts clean energy companies, with more than two in three renewable energy employers working with solar energy technologies.
For more information about solar power in Massachusetts, visit the Department of Energy Resources or the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. You can also see how the Commonwealth is progressing towards meeting its ambitious renewable energy goals on the Renewable Energy Snapshot.
Fish Need Clean Energy, Too posted on Feb 18
Running a fish farm is an intense operation, one that requires a lot of labor and a large amount of energy. Currently, the McLaughlin Hatchery uses a significant amount of oil to heat its facility. The facility is going to replace its oil furnace with a renewable energy heating system, a new high efficiency wood pellet boiler and pellet storage silo that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 92 percent, save an estimated $11,432 annually, and reduce annual oil use by more than 5,000 gallons.
Wood Pellets are the New Oil for Regional Schools Reducing Fuel Costs posted on Feb 12
Did you know that it is possible to heat buildings in the northeast using wood biomass, a renewable energy fuel? With nearly one-third of total energy costs going toward heating our buildings, it is no wonder that Massachusetts school districts are searching for cheaper and …Continue Reading Wood Pellets are the New Oil for Regional Schools Reducing Fuel Costs
Natural Wildlife Setting Enhanced by New Zero Net Energy Building posted on Feb 6
Constructing a commercial zero net energy building (ZNEB) is no easy task, especially one that is 45,000 square feet and sits in Massachusetts where the winters are cold and summers often hot and humid. This is why over 100 people gathered enthusiastically in December in …Continue Reading Natural Wildlife Setting Enhanced by New Zero Net Energy Building