Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.
Secretary, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
During this year’s Summer Solstice tomorrow (Tuesday, June 21), I and other members of Governor Patrick’s clean energy team will stop in to visit and showcase some sites that exemplify growth in the Massachusetts solar sector. In 2007, solar energy was at 3.5 megawatts (MW), but we are now on track to have over 90 MW of solar power installed or in design and construction by the end of 2011.
The events taking place during our Summer Solstice solar tour will emphasize the diversity of the Massachusetts solar industry, the job growth it has created, and its benefits in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to improve the environment. Like the sun in the sky, events will begin in the eastern part of the state in the morning and end in the Berkshires later in the day.
Our stops include a 200 kilowatt (kW) project at the Greater Boston Food Bank in Boston (bottom photo), a 200 kW system at the Simonian Early Learning Center in Sutton (top photo), an 18.9 ground-mounted array at Edgewood Cranberry Bogs in Carver, and a 1.58 MW system at the Pittsfield Wastewater Treatment Plant. Each of these locations demonstrates how solar power is growing jobs in the Commonwealth while helping to stabilize energy costs for businesses, municipalities and families.
Massachusetts is in the midst of a solar revolution, with the number of solar-related firms growing from 30 to approximately 200 in the past four years, and employment in the solar sector more than doubling. This growth in clean, solar energy complements the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Clean Energy and Climate Plan, which calls for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. In addition, with the new clean energy economy we are creating, we will start taking back some of the $18 billion Massachusetts sends out of the state and the country annually to purchase coal, oil, and natural gas.
We hope this Summer Solstice solar tour will raise public awareness about the many clean energy endeavors the Commonwealth is advancing, and that people across the state will celebrate with us the individuals, companies, and municipalities that are working hard to ensure a clean energy future.