Clean Power

Published on May 2nd, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


Massachusetts Crushes Solar Goals, Aims Much Higher

May 2nd, 2013 by  

Massachusetts has already surpassed its goal of installing 250 megawatts (MW) of solar energy by 2017. Just a tad early, eh? Obviously, 250 MW was far too small of a goal, so the state is planning to increase the goal to 1,600 MW ( 1.6 GW).

Image Credit: SEIA via Facebook

Image Credit: SEIA via Facebook

Massachusetts rose to over 250 MW today from just 16 MW in 2009. While solar has been growing fast pretty much everywhere, Massachusetts has seen one of the fastest growth rates in the industry.

Massachusetts installed 198 MW of solar power in 2012 alone, the sixth most of any state.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Massachusetts already has about 4,500 solar professionals working in 229 companies.

Naturally, SEIA was happy about the increased target. “Governor Patrick should be commended as a solar champion. We thank him for his leadership,” Carrie Cullen Hitt, senior vice president of state affairs at SEIA, said.

So, how is Massachusetts (you know, The Sunshine State) such a solar power leader? The state (which is actually nicknamed “The Bay State”) offers a host of different solar incentives. From tax credits, to tax exemptions, to PACE financing, to utility rebates, it’s a true leader in this realm. The incentives are actually housed under several different solar programs, such as Solarize Massachusetts, Commonwealth Solar Green Communities, and Leading by Example.

With good solar growth, the industries supporting solar power have matured a bit. Combined with falling solar module prices globally, that resulted in prices coming down 29% in 2012. For much more on solar power in Massachusetts, check out the SEIA page on that state.

Also, for more on the proposed changes, check out the Massachusetts Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ “Solar Carve-Out” page.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Flip Snap

    Go green and know all about alternative energy! Live better taking care of our planet!

  • Wayne Williamson

    When I saw the sunshine state I was hoping it meant Florida…But no…It probably ranks close to last in solar deployment…So sad.

    • Sorry to get your hopes up. As a Floridian myself, it is very disappointing to see the state lagging so far behind….

  • JustSaying

    As the May 1 post said “Biggest Barrier To 100% Renewables Is In Our Heads”. Because of that we set goal to low, be that a state or a country (Scottland already approved project will push it over it’s 2020 community PV goals). There isn’t a state in the US that could make 20By2020, if we should set the goals and policies. Most could be much higher.

    • JustSaying

      We are nearing the tipping point where Big oil/coal will lose its grip on the GOP, that or those GOP member will lose their offices.

      • RobS

        A very interesting dynamic will occur once more people are employed in green energy industries then fossil fuel industries.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I believe we are already there.

          There are more Americans working in solar than in mining coal. Oil employs a surprisingly low number of people.

          Last December we saw Republican governors of conservative/red states lobbying for continued subsidies for wind farms. We’re seeing fossil-fuel legislation that attempts to hold back renewables being defeated in conservative states.

          Wind farms are supporting ranchers and farmers. They are providing badly needed local taxes.

          Oklahoma, home of one of our most whacko anti-renewable senators, is becoming a major seller of wind energy to Southeastern states including Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. Oklahoma’s wind industry is growing well past just supplying in-state needs and becoming an important source of imported income.

          Money talks….

          • i thought the recent changes at AWEA were interesting. didn’t want to speculate too much in the post, but thinking:

            -former Republican governor stepping down from CEO role bcs wind is now a strong force in several Republican states. (and perhaps also as a compromise in getting the PTC extended?)

            -conservationist coming in as new CEO to help deal with illogical NIMBYism.

            just ruminating.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “former Republican governor” = you talking about Denise Bode? She was never a governor.

            She has an “interesting” background for someone whose job it was to champion renewable energy. From Wiki…

            Bode worked for nine years on the staff of then–U.S. Senator David Boren as his legal counsel, focusing on the areas of energy and taxation and staffing the Senate Finance Committee.[6]

            Before joining the Corporation Commission, Bode served for seven years as president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) in Washington, D.C.[1] She preceded her service at IPAA as a founding partner of a Washington D.C. firm,[2] where she represented businesses ranging from agriculture to life insurance.

            Bode was appointed to President George W. Bush’s Energy Transition Advisory Team[7] and has testified before Congress on numerous occasions, as well as lectured at the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society. She represented the United States in Oslo, Norway, at the International Union Conservative Women’s Conference. She was elected by state regulators from the eight states that make up the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) region to serve as President of SPP’s Regional State Committee. The committee is charged with directing electric transmission expansion in Oklahoma and the other states in the SPP region.

            In 2002, Denise Bode ran for Attorney General against incumbent Drew Edmondson and was defeated by Edmondson (60%-40%).

            Bode was a candidate for the Republican Nomination for the Oklahoma 5th Congressional District; however, she lost the Republican Party nomination in the July 25, 2006 primary.[8]

            On April 20, 2007, Bode announced her intention to resign as Corporation Commissioner and form theAmerican Clean Skies Foundation to promote the use of natural gas.[9] On May 14, 2007 Brad Henryappointed Jim Roth as her replacement.[10] On January 1, 2009, Bode resigned from ACSF to become the new CEO of the American Wind Energy Association.

          • Ross

            Might want to correct this article. It says she was a Governor.


  • jburt56

    Think big. How about every exterior building surface on the planet?

    • jeffhre

      Every…non shaded…

  • John Gingrich

    Go Massachusetts! It’s great that we are actually setting goals that can be measured in Gigawatts!

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