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.
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Do you like data? Are you interested in finding out whether Massachusetts homes use more energy than Massachusetts businesses or how our energy prices compare to other states’? You don’t have to be a data nerd or a policy wonk to answer “yes.” The Department of Energy Resources has just launched an online dashboard to answer these and other questions about how Massachusetts uses energy.
Power Down and Save Up posted on Dec 23
Between Thanksgiving and the cusp of a new year, many of us feel the festive energy. Burning lots of energy seems to go along with celebrating – think of all those holiday lights and cookies we bake. But that extra energy use also gives everyone …Continue Reading Power Down and Save Up