Civic leaders ask Gov. Healey to install 1 million solar roofs

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BOSTON – During her gubernatorial campaign, Maura Healey expressed support for installing 10 gigawatts of solar – the equivalent of 1 million solar roofs– by 2030. Now, approximately three months into her tenure, leaders from across the Commonwealth are asking Gov. Healey to affirm her commitment and work to accelerate the growth of solar energy.

“Solar power is clean, local, and abundant, and it’s going to play a key role in our transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy,” said Ben Hellerstein, state director for Environment Massachusetts. “Now is the perfect time to set our sights on a brighter future powered by clean energy from the sun. Gov. Healey can lead the way with a commitment to install one million solar roofs by 2030.”

The letter, signed by 35 environmental, health, and business leaders, as well as local elected officials across the Commonwealth, urges Healey to make solar energy a key part of Massachusetts’ strategy to address climate change.

Between 2012 and 2021, the amount of solar energy generated in Massachusetts increased by more than 17 times. If we increase solar by just another 2.5 times by 2030, we’ll have enough solar panels to cover a million roofs.

“Distributed solar is the critical piece in transitioning to an equitable, clean energy future. It’s affordable, healthy, great for our economy – and it can also be a tool for justice,” said Elena Weissmann, Regional Director, Northeast, for Vote Solar. “We’re calling on Governor Healey to scale up solar and accelerate our transition to a fully clean energy economy, and to use solar as a tool to address historic disparities in environmental harms and energy burdens.”

The letter calls for eliminating unnecessary roadblocks to solar development, ensuring fair compensation for solar generation, and expanding access to solar energy for all Massachusetts residents. Additionally, it calls for incentivizing solar installations on built land, such as parking lots, brownfields, and rooftops. According to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory report, we have the technical potential to generate up to 47% of Massachusetts’ current electricity consumption solely from rooftop solar. Another recent report by Environment America and Frontier Group, finds great solar potential in installing photovoltaic (PV) panels on superstores’ rooftops.