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Ben Hellerstein,
Environment Massachusetts

Solar bill headed to Governor’s desk

For Immediate Release

Boston — After months of deadlock over the future of solar energy, the Massachusetts Senate passed a compromise bill today to lift caps on a key solar program.

The bill received House approval yesterday, and is now headed to Governor Charlie Baker’s desk to await his signature.

Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts, issued the following statement in response:

“We’re glad to see that the yearlong stalemate over solar energy is drawing to a close. Hundreds of solar projects, with the potential to provide clean energy to more than 50,000 homes, will finally be able to move forward. We’re grateful to the efforts of so many legislators who have fought hard to expand solar.

“While it addresses the immediate obstacle standing in the way of solar power, today’s legislation does not go far enough to ensure the long-term growth of solar. We are concerned about provisions that will reduce the value of some net metering credits and open the door to a minimum utility bill for solar owners. These changes could make it harder for many — including renters, low-income families, and people who can’t install solar on their roofs — to access the benefits of solar. We urge officials to address these concerns through legislation and administrative action.

“What we need is a policy that keeps solar growing for the long term and ensures that its benefits are available to all. Massachusetts must get to 100 percent clean, renewable energy as quickly as possible, and solar has a critical role to play. All of us — solar advocates, legislators, and administration officials — have more work ahead of us.”

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Environment Massachusetts is the statewide, citizen-funded advocacy group working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.