Commonwealth Solar: A Clean Energy Success Story
Going Solar in Massachusetts
By October 2009, CommSolar had allocated $68 million of existing renewable energy funds to solar PV rebates for residents, businesses, and public buildings – and the Massachusetts solar boom was under way.
In 2010, the Commonwealth Solar II program was launched to provide rebates to residential and small commercial systems. Also, federal stimulus funds were dedicated to further the development of solar power. The Commonwealth Solar Stimulus Rebate program, as well as portions of the State Revolving Fund and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants are all working together to continue to fund large solar projects across Massachusetts. In all, the Commonwealth has dedicated over $160 million of renewable energy and federal funds to support investment in solar energy totaling almost $330 million.
Solar Generating Capacity
The installed capacity of solar PV in Massachusetts has grown rapidly, especially in the past four years. As of mid-2010, more than 2,200 systems were installed. By the end of 2010, there will be more than 2,600 installations statewide, providing more than 45 MW of solar power, which is enough to power almost 7,000 homes. Based on current commitments, more than 60 MW of solar power will soon be installed or under contract – nearly 20 times the amount of solar statewide in January 2007.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Solar power is making an important and growing contribution to the Commonwealth’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and lessening the state’s dependence on fossil-fuels. The solar capacity installed in Massachusetts to date saves 22,500 metric tons of CO2 annually. During their lifetimes, the installed and proposed solar PV systems in Massachusetts will save over 1 million metric tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to the annual emissions of 200,000 cars.