Among all the states in the Northeast Massachusetts is leading the way in solar power. This small state—more than five Massachusetts’ could fit into New York by area and New York has more than three times the population—installed more solar power last year than any other state in the Northeast. In fact, according to last week’s U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research, Massachusetts was fourth among all states in the nation, including California.
In all, Massachusetts installed 308 megawatts of solar last year bringing its total to 751 MWs, the report found. “That’s enough clean, affordable energy to power more than 120,000 homes,” SEIA said. In terms of residential, the state added 64 MWs of new installations while commercial installations added 224 megawatts last year. “Together, these installations represented a $791 million investment across Massachusetts.”
“To put the state’s remarkable progress in some context, the 751 MW of solar installed today in Massachusetts is more than our entire country had installed by 2007. That’s an amazing achievement,” said SEIA President Rhone Resch. “Massachusetts also added more than 3,000 new solar jobs last year—an impressive 46 percent increase over 2013—and we expect this strong growth to continue. We look forward to working with Gov. Charlie Baker (R) and his administration on ways to develop a long-term framework for solar, which will help to keep the state’s tremendous momentum moving forward.”
SEIA observed that currently the Massachusetts economy supports 368 solar companies that employ 9,500 people. The state’s solar industry surged last year in part because of solar goals the state put into effect under previous Gov. Deval Patrick (D) who set a goal of 1.6 gigawatts of solar in the state by 2020. The state legislature ultimately voted not to pursue at least some of that high-end goal but the state is making significant strides in moving towards more solar.
One big factor, according to SEIA, continues to be residential price drops. The organization said solar installation prices in Massachusetts have dropped 49 percent since 2010.Tweet