Massachusetts surpasses 250 MW goal, aspires to reach 1.6 GW

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Under Deval Patrick’s government, the amount of solar energy installed in Massachusetts has increased 80 times from the 3 MW installed in 2007, reads a government statement released on May 1.

Overall, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) calculates that since the end of 2009, cumulative installed photovoltaic capacity in the state has increased from 16 MW to more than 250 MW. "This growth rate is among the fastest in the nation," SEIA states.

In its recently released U.S. Solar Market Insight report, the association writes that Massachusetts is currently ranked seventh in terms of installed photovoltaic capacity in the U.S.

Currently, the U.S. state has several solar incentive programs, such as the Commonwealth Solar Green Communities, Solarize Massachusetts and Leading by Example. "These programs allow Massachusetts residents and businesses to leverage incentives to buy or lease solar power systems. Solar customers are also permitted to sell any unused power they generate back to an electric company," says SEIA.

It adds, "These targeted investments have led to economic growth and job creation. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) 2012 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report showed an 11.2% growth in Massachusetts clean energy jobs between 2011 and 2012. Nearly 5,000 clean energy firms employ more than 71,000 clean energy workers."