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.
Boston Latin School Honored for Sustainability, Health, Environmental Education posted on Apr 22
Congratulations to Boston Latin School, recipient of a 2014 U.S. Department of Education (USED) Green Ribbon Schools recognition award. The Green Ribbon Schools program, launched by USED in 2011, honors the highest performing schools for sustainability, health and environmental education in the U.S. This year, …Continue Reading Boston Latin School Honored for Sustainability, Health, Environmental Education
Toward Zero Net Energy posted on Apr 10
In late February I had the opportunity to attend the Toward Zero Net Energy (TZNE) Retrofit Program “Charrette” ‒ a collaborative session in which a group of designers drafts a solution to a design problem ‒ at Holyoke Community College (HCC). The purpose of this charrette …Continue Reading Toward Zero Net Energy
Leadership Matters – Images from 7th Green Schools Summit posted on Apr 7
At the 7th Annual Massachusetts Green Schools Summit, students, teachers, legislators and energy officials came together to embrace leadership roles within their communities. DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia emphasized that clean energy and climate literacy among the current generation of students will be crucial for Massachusetts in the future. “Set the tone, lead the way in the classroom, at home, in the community and for our future.”