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Is Massachusetts One of the Most Solar Power-friendly State in the US?

Massachusetts households pay some of the highest utility prices in the US, although their average monthly power consumption is way below the national average.

At 627 kWh of average household power consumption per month, Massachusetts ranks 43rd among all the states. Yet, they pay 22% more in energy costs than the national average!

Needless to say, Massachusetts households stand to make some of the biggest gains from taking the solar route. Besides the utility prices, the state government and federal incentives have played a pivotal role in the rapid penetration of solar power within the state’s communities.

But things are set to get better, much better for the solar power fans.

Unprecedented Solar Power Capacity Expansion

In 2018, the state of Massachusetts had an installed solar power capacity of 2,011 MW, which placed it squarely among the top 6 US states with the highest installed solar power generation capacity.

Then the state introduced the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program. The program aims to expand its solar power generation capacity by 3,200 MW. Originally, the target was 1,600 MW, but the program’s terrific success compelled the state government to expand it to 3,200 MW.

Racing to the Top

Thanks to a renewed push by the SMART program, the Bay state has witnessed a steep growth in solar adoption over the past 2 years. Today, there are over 100,000 solar projects with 2,500 MW power generation capacity in the state. These numbers are persistently pushing the state ahead in fulfilling its renewable energy commitments.

The Way to a Greener State

In 2019, two-thirds of the state’s energy needs were met with natural gas. Renewable resources provided only a quarter of the state’s power generation. Solar power accounts for 14% of the state’s power generation supply. 

Although coal-fired power plants are being phased out and more wind farms are being set up, the various renewable energy sources like hydropower, and wind, barely make a dent in the state’s power needs.

Currently, Massachusetts consumes twice as much power as it generates and is forced to “import” power from neighboring states to meet its power demands.

The good news is that Massachusetts intends to expand its offshore wind power generating capacity by 3,200 MW by as early as 2035.

Between its ambitious solar and wind power plans, Massachusetts expects to achieve complete self-reliance in terms of its energy needs. Moreover, the state also wants to become increasingly greener over the next decade and beyond.

At its current rate, Massachusetts has the potential to be the most solar-friendly state in the US. Now, that’s a distinction.

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