AS PREPARED:
Governor Deval L. Patrick
250 MegaWatt Goal Reached
Drydock Center
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Good afternoon and thank you Secretary Sullivan for that warm introduction.  And thank you all for being with us to celebrate this important milestone.

Our Administration is about investing in education, innovation and infrastructure.  This approach has worked throughout our history – and is working here, today.  It’s how we shape our own future.

Five years ago, we took a fresh look at our energy future.  Energy in Massachusetts has long been relatively costly.  With no oil, coal or natural gas of our own, we are at the end of the pipeline and are subject to the whims of a global energy market.  We bear the economic and environmental costs associated with finding, extracting and transporting fuels from all corners of the world.

So in 2007, I announced several goals related to clean energy.  Despite having only 3.5 megawatts of solar electricity installed at the time, I set a target of hitting 250 megawatts of solar by 2017.

We installed more than 100 megawatts of solar power in 2012 alone – ranking us sixth last year in total capacity added.

Let me to help you visualize exactly what 250 megawatts of solar power looks like.  It’s enough electricity to power more than 37,000 homes for a year.  When compared with fossil fuel-generated electricity, it’s the equivalent of eliminating the greenhouse gas emissions from nearly 26,000 cars a year.

I’m proud to announce today we’ve hit that milestone – four years early.

We have achieved this goal thanks to the hard work by many people here today.  I want to particularly thank Secretary Sullivan and the several commissioners from EOEEA. 

Now, let’s build on that momentum.  Today I am announcing a new goal of 1,600 megawatts by 2020.

I have directed Secretary Sullivan and his team to take a fresh look at the incentives that have successfully grown the solar industry in Massachusetts, and expand our solar carve-out program to ensure certainty for the financing world, affordability for consumers, and stability for the market.

We are ranked second lowest in installation, fourth in the nation for total jobs in the solar sector, and we have more than 200 solar installation companies now working in Massachusetts.  These companies are among the nearly 5,000 clean energy firms employing nearly 72,000 people in the Commonwealth.

The point is:  Strategic investments work.  We can choose growth and wise environmental stewardship. 

So, we will not let up.  We will continue to work together.  In that spirit, let me thank the many here who have coached, counseled and partnered with my team on these many initiatives.  To my team, outstanding work.  Where we lead the Nation, it’s because of you.  Thank you.

Click here to view the press release.