As the leaves drop and summer cools into fall, support for solar power has never been stronger. Last week a new sevey shows that support for solar power in the US is at all time highs, with 76 percent of voters in favor of solar. States and utilities are showing support, too. Massachusetts finalized its SMART solar incentive program, while Ohio’s AEP proposed 400 MWs of solar in that state.
The latest polling shows that more than three quarters of voters in the US—76 percent— support more solar power in the US, making it the most favorable of energy sources in the survey. That’s according to the latest poll by the Global Strategy Group for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Among opinion leaders 87 percent of respondents want more solar. Moreover, the poll found that at least 70 percent of voters support both net metering and renewable portfolio standards of at least 50 percent by 2030.
Programs like Massachusetts’ Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program will help increase the amount of solar power in that state by incentivizing 1.6 gigawatts of new, small solar installations. Last week, more than a year after it was passed into law the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) finalized the program, allowing it to start incentivizing solar in the state and replacing the legacy solar rooftop incentive programs in the state—many of which were fulfilled already.
A new project in Massachusetts is already moving that way with what will be the largest community solar and energy storage project in the state. The 3 megawatt community solar farm and 6 megawatt hour energy storage system will serve customers in the region. But it should be noted that the project is being built at the Mt. Tom Power Station site in Holyoke, which was a former coal and oil-fired facility, showing that solar can even replace coal facilities directly.
Meanwhile in Ohio, AEP has proposed 400 megawatts of solar farms in a move that would save its customers $200 million over the projects’ 20-year lifespans. The utility said it made the proposal partly to meet demand from its customers, who want more renewable energy in the state. The projects, which are awaiting state approval, would triple the amount solar installed in the state.Tweet