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.
Home Baked Energy Efficiency with a Tasty Glazing posted on Sep 30
To reduce home energy consumption as rates rise, one town in Northwest Massachusetts has found a creative do-it-yourself solution.
Renewables To Blunt Power Outages From Major Storms posted on Sep 26
To make sure that Massachusetts can avoid the energy-related problems faced by New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania during Hurricane Sandy, the Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative will provide municipalities with reliable, renewable alternatives to diesel generators that also align with the Commonwealth’s greenhouse gas reduction and clean energy goals.
Energizing Future Generations posted on Sep 23
For the past two years, Massachusetts has participated in a federal program that recognizes schools working hard to educate future generations about clean energy and improvements in Massachusetts school buildings. This year, the Commonwealth will again participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools recognition program.