New campaign asks the next mayor of Boston to go big on solar

Media Contacts
Peter Schneider

Environment Massachusetts

BOSTON – The next leader of the city of Boston should set big goals for solar energy, advocates and community leaders said today.

At an event launching a new campaign called Shine On Boston, leaders from the solar industry, community organizations, medical institutions, and student activist groups spoke about the importance of prioritizing solar energy in Boston.

“Boston can go big on solar and provide renewable energy and cleaner air to its residents.” said Peter Schneider, Clean Energy Organizer with Environment Massachusetts. “Boston’s future is bright with solar.”

Advocates are asking the next mayor of the city to chart a path forward to a clean future powered by solar energy by installing the equivalent of 25,000 solar roofs — 250 megawatts of rooftop solar — across the city by 2030. 

Rooftop solar was highlighted in the 2019 Carbon Free Boston report as a key element of the city’s transition off of fossil fuels.

“Increasing solar power generation in Boston is a key step toward building a sustainable future for our city and reducing the harmful health impacts of climate change for Boston residents,” said Dr. Anna Goldman, MD., a primary care physician at Boston Medical Center. “Rapidly scaling up solar power will help clean up our air in Boston.”

The campaign platform suggests policies the next mayor can adopt to reach 25,000 solar roofs by 2030. The platform includes eight specific actions the city can take to increase solar energy adoption, such as ensuring solar panels are installed on the roofs of new residential and commercial buildings, and establishing a “one-stop-shopping” clean energy website where residents, businesses, and building owners can learn about solar incentives and connect with trusted installers. The platform also includes reducing barriers and expand access to solar energy for every Boston resident.

“The energy transition will only be successful if everyone is a part of the conversation, and community solar provides an opportunity for that,” said Ruth Lazare, Outreach Coordinator at Co-Op Power.

At the State House, more than 70 legislators have signed onto the 100% Clean Act (H.3288, S.2136), filed by Rep. Marjorie Decker, Rep. Sean Garaballey, and Sen. Joseph Boncore. This bill will transition Massachustts to 100 percent clean electricity by 2035 and 100 percent clean heating and transportation by 2045.

Mayoral candidates will have the opportunity to formally endorse the platform in the coming weeks and share their views on why Boston should go big on solar.

“I hope that all of the mayoral candidates will express their strong support for this initiative,” said Dr. Goldman. “It will clean up our city and in a very real way improve the health of everyone who lives or works in Boston.”