Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has proposed a new plan to expand solar in the northeastern state that could result in the Bay State having 5 gigawatts of solar installed by 2025, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The plans, which are still under review, would help the state maintain its ranking as one of the top states for solar power in the nation.
“For the last decade, Massachusetts has been one of the leading solar energy markets in the nation and with forward-looking policies, like the one Gov. Baker has proposed, that leadership will be cemented,” said Dave Gahl, SEIA’s northeast director of state affairs, at a recent community solar project dedication by Clean Energy Collective. “While there are many details yet to be worked out, the new incentive proposal will put the Bay State on a path to having 5 gigawatts of solar installed by the year 2025. That's enough to power 800,000 homes."
With 1.2 gigawatts of solar power already installed, Massachusetts is currently the 6th largest market for solar power in the US and largest in the northeast, according to SEIA. That’s despite it being much smaller and in a less sunny place than some of the other leading states like California or Arizona. Gov.
Baker has previously encouraged solar growth, including expanding net-metering. That Gov. Baker, a Republican, is encouraging solar growth in the state with a proposal for 1,600 more megawatts of solar power with a solar renewable energy credit (SREC) incentive program, also shows that support for solar is no longer a one-party issue—at least at the state level. Hopefully, it becomes more the case at the federal level as well. After all, last year the Republican-controlled Congress enacted an extension of the Investment Tax Credit, one of the most important subsidies to support solar growth.
The Massachusetts proposal is still in the development process and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is reviewing comments received regarding the initial proposal. SEIA wants to help ensure that the state makes a positive decision for solar power in the state. After all the industry employs more than 15,000 people in the state across 416 companies.
“There is a solid foundation here upon which to build and we’re looking forward to working with the state’s leadership to craft a final proposal that includes an extension of the SREC II program so solar projects and the thousands of jobs supporting them do not slip through an unintentional policy gap,” Gahl said.Tweet