BOSTON – Continuing its commitment to building a robust solar industry in the Commonwealth, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that Massachusetts has now installed more than 2,000 megawatts (MW) of solar electricity through 78,646 projects across the state.
This announcement builds on the administration’s efforts to diversify the Commonwealth’s energy portfolio to reduce energy costs for ratepayers and meet the Global Warming Solutions Act’s greenhouse gas reduction requirements.
“With over 2,000 megawatts of solar now installed, Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in solar deployment and clean energy innovation,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Through our next solar incentive program, SMART, and our forward-thinking solar grant programs, we look forward to doubling that amount of solar and building a sustainable and affordable clean energy future for the Commonwealth.”
Massachusetts has ranked second in the United States for total solar jobs for the last two years, and ranks sixth in the nation for new installed solar capacity. Under the Baker-Polito Administration, 56,031 solar projects have been installed with 1,239MW, and almost 50 percent of the solar capacity in Massachusetts has been installed in the last two years. Additionally, all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts now have at least one solar installation.
“Through the Baker-Polito Administration’s efforts to increase access to solar technology for all ratepayers – from residents of low-to moderate income, to commercial and industrial users – the Commonwealth is now home to a robust solar industry employing thousands of Massachusetts workers,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Building on this significant amount of solar installation is a crucial component of the Administration’s commitment to diversify our energy portfolio, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and strengthen our vibrant and growing clean energy industry.”
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s 2017 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report found that the state’s clean energy sector grew by 4 percent between 2016 and 2017, employing a total of 109,226 clean energy workers. Since 2010, the Commonwealth’s clean energy industry has grown by 81 percent, adding over 49,000 workers.
DOER’s new solar incentive program, Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART), will support an additional 1,600 MW of solar in Massachusetts, nearly doubling the amount installed as of today at half the estimated pricing of existing programs. The Baker-Polito Administration also offers a menu of solar programs for residents, businesses and public facilities including Solarize Mass, Mass Solar Connect, Mass Solar Loan, and programs to improve low-and moderate-income residents’ access to clean energy through the Affordable Access to Clean and Efficient Energy Initiative (AACEE).
Building on this significant clean energy deployment, in 2016 Governor Baker signed bipartisan energy legislation authorizing the largest procurement of clean energy generation in Massachusetts’ history, approximately 9,450,000MWh of clean energy and approximately 1,600MW of offshore wind energy, to help lower Massachusetts’ energy costs and achieve our greenhouse gas reduction requirements while encouraging economic growth and activity.