The Patrick Administration today announced another major clean energy milestone, surpassing 15,000 solar photovoltaic installations in the Commonwealth. There are now 15,762 systems installed across Massachusetts, a twenty-fold increase from 2008.
“This achievement is due in large part to the strength of the Massachusetts solar industry,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Clean energy investments are smart for the environment and the economy, as proven by our 24 percent industry job growth in the last two years.”
There were 778 systems installed in Massachusetts on January 1, 2008. As a result of this exponential growth, Massachusetts was ranked 4th in the Nation for new solar capacity installed in 2013 by the Solar Energy Industries Association. It was also ranked 4th nationally in total solar jobs in 2013, by the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census. There are more than 8,000 people working in the solar industry in the Commonwealth, and nearly 80,000 clean energy workers at 5,500 companies.
“These achievements show that the Patrick Administration’s policies and strategic investments are paying off,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett. “When we are competitive with other states much sunnier than ours, it’s a testament to the commitment of state and local officials, as well as home and business owners across the Commonwealth to renewable energy.”
The state’s comprehensive solar policies and successful clean energy investments have led to growing deployment of solar power at homes, businesses, schools, parking lots, landfills and elsewhere, totaling more than 615 megawatts, which is capable of powering nearly 94,000 homes. The average size of a solar PV installation is also growing, from an average of 6.7 kilowatts per system in 2008 to the current average of 39.2 kilowatts per system. There is at least one solar installation in 350 of the 351 communities across Massachusetts.
Earlier this summer, energy and environmental officials toured the Commonwealth, touting the growth of the solar industry, as well as solar’s economic and environmental benefits. Highlights of the day are available online.
“Massachusetts’ success in solar energy is a direct a result of political leadership and forward-thinking policies that allow the state to compete with other states around the country,” said NECEC President Peter Rothstein. “The state’s solar sector, which now employs more than 8,000 people, has produced benefits for the Commonwealth. We must continue to evolve policies to advance solar energy in a sustainable way that benefits all customers, as well as the growing solar industry, and achieves the Commonwealth’s economy, energy prices and environmental objectives.”
The Patrick Administration’s aggressive clean energy initiatives have made Massachusetts a leader in energy efficiency, renewable energy and emissions reductions. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has named Massachusetts number one for three years running. Last year, Governor Patrick set a new solar goal to install 1,600 megawatts by 2020, after reaching the previous goal of 250 megawatts four years early. The clean energy revolution is yielding economic benefits as well, with 11.8 percent job growth in the last year and 24 percent growth in the last two years; nearly 80,000 people are employed in the clean tech industry in Massachusetts.