Daily News

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Solar Milestone for State

WORCESTER — Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton announced that Massachusetts has installed more than 841 megawatts of solar electricity, bringing the Commonwealth more than halfway to the Baker-Polito administration’s goal of 1,600 megawatts by 2020.

“Today’s announcement further supports the Baker-Polito administration’s commitment to a vibrant clean-energy sector that creates jobs and economic prosperity for the Commonwealth,” Beaton said. “Continuing to diversify Massachusetts’ energy portfolio through the development of solar generation will work to strengthen the state’s growing clean-energy economy while supporting new, innovative technologies.”

The 841 megawatts of installed solar electricity is enough to power more than 128,000 average Massachusetts homes, and is responsible for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions equal to taking over 73,000 cars off the road.

“Under the Baker-Polito Administration, Massachusetts will continue to harness solar power to protect the environment, save on energy costs, and create jobs,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “This is an exciting milestone toward the year when we meet our solar goal of 1,600 megawatts and generate 3% to 4% of today’s electric demands with local, available solar power.”

According to the Solar Foundation, Massachusetts ranks second in the U.S. for solar jobs, while every dollar invested in solar in the Commonwealth creates $1.20 in economic benefits to the local economy, according to the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University. Last year, solar electricity capacity installed was the fourth-highest in the country.

“Solar energy is an economic driver here in Massachusetts, employing more than 12,000 workers in high-quality clean-energy jobs,” said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Alicia Barton. “Working together across government and in partnership with industry and communities, we’re well on our way to meeting our goal.”

There are solar installations in 350 of Massachusetts’ 351 cities and towns, with at least 175 local communities hosting projects that directly benefit the municipality. There are more than 25 megawatts of solar at over 180 schools across Massachusetts, 30 megawatts on farms, and eight megawatts on state buildings and land.