As part of testimony in front of today’s State Senate Global Warming and Climate Change Committee oversight hearing on the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program, Vote Solar called for accelerating the growth of local solar to meet the global warming and clean energy requirements set by the Massachusetts Legislature. Vote Solar urged the Commonwealth on behalf of our 3,000 Massachusetts members to take bold action to address climate change, conserve land and serve low-income communities with local solar.
The hearing comes on the heels of a recently released report that shows that tripling the size of the SMART program to 4,800 MW, an increase of 3,200 MW, would create 8,000 to 9,000 new jobs, would drive more than $5 billion in solar project investment into the state’s economy, and bring economic and environmental benefits to Massachusetts residents and businesses.
Vote Solar, a non-profit solar advocacy organization with more than 3,000 members in Massachusetts, also offered testimony on a balanced approach to solar siting proposed by a coalition of solar, conservation and agriculture groups, as well as a low-income and environmental justice proposal from another coalition.
“The Massachusetts Legislature has passed some of the nation’s leading climate and energy laws, and we are grateful for their diligence in holding this oversight hearing to ensure that solar continues to grow in the Commonwealth,” said Sean Garren, the Boston-based Northeast Senior Director for Vote Solar. “In order to meet the Commonwealth’s ambitious climate and energy targets, we need to accelerate the growth of local solar power in a way that is affordable and accessible to everyone and respectful of our precious lands.
The Baker Administration’s current proposal falls short of this, so we look forward to working with them and the legislature to correct the path forward.”
Solar offers the opportunity to reduce fossil fuel pollution in low-income and environmental justice communities, and make these communities the economic and environmental beneficiaries of the new energy system.
Vote Solar along with its partners (BlueHub Capital and Resonant Energy) encouraged Commonwealth to adopt consensus-based policies including ‘contract-free solar’, which would unlock greater access to solar within low-income and environmental justice communities, and ensure customers are guaranteed savings.
About Vote Solar:
Since 2002, Vote Solar has been working to lower solar costs and expand solar access. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Vote Solar advocates for state policies and programs needed to repower our electric grid with clean energy. Learn more at www.votesolar.org.