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Downing lauds Governor Patrick's new solar energy goal for the Commonwealth
May 02, 2013

BOSTON – Yesterday State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield), chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy, joined Governor Deval Patrick and other state environmental and energy officials to celebrate a remarkable renewable energy milestone: Massachusetts residents, businesses, municipalities and utilities now generate 250 megawatts of power from solar energy, meeting the Governor’s 10-year goal for solar power in the Commonwealth four years early.
 
The Governor also called for an ambitious new solar energy goal in Massachusetts:  1.6 gigawatts (1,600 megawatts) installed by 2020.
"I am thrilled we have been able to meet Governor Patrick's goal four years in advance,” said Downing. “Solar energy is a win all around for Massachusetts. It's good for our environment and our economy. Over the past few years, communities from the Berkshires to Boston have harnessed the power of the sun. Now it's time to take it the next level and I know our residents, businesses and communities are up to the task. I applaud Governor Patrick's leadership and his team's follow through on this issue and I look forward to making sure their efforts have all the support in the Legislature they need."

Early in his first term, Governor Patrick announced his desire for Massachusetts to have 250 megawatts of solar capacity installed by 2017.  In 2007 Massachusetts had only 3 megawatts of solar capacity installed. According to the Patrick Administration, today there is enough solar power installed statewide to generate enough electricity to serve 37,000 homes for a year.

Patrick has signed a number of ambitious clean energy bills enacted by the Legislature into law, such as the Green Communities Act, the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Green Jobs Act and the Competitively Priced Electricity Act, which have encouraged solar development in the state.

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center reports the amount of solar capacity being installed each year in Massachusetts has steadily increased since 2007, climbing from 9.64 megawatts in 2008 to 42.5 megawatts in 2011 and 135.8 megawatts in 2012.

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