Massachusetts governor signs climate bill with support for solar, clean energy mandates

The bill will help promote the use of agricultural land to host renewable projects. Image: Aubrey Odom Mabey via Unsplash.

Massachusetts’ Republican governor Charlie Baker has signed a significant climate bill that will bolster the growth of renewables project in the state and put limits of fossil fuel use.

Signed on Thursday, the bill was first approved by the state legislature on 31 July before being signed by the governor. It comes just before the US House of Representatives is expected to pass the US’ landmark climate package – the Inflation Reduction Act – with major implications for the energy industry in the US.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

The programme contains incentives for ground-mounted solar PV installations which are “pollinator-friendly” as well as offer rebates that would reduce the cost to comply with such environmental requisites. It also supports the creation of a commission to investigate and make recommendations that remove barriers for the growth of agrivoltaic projects in Massachusetts.

It also allows up to 10 municipalities to require new buildings to use clean power over fossil fuels, should they wish to pursue that strategy.

Moreover, the bill increases the rebate for buying and renting low carbon vehicles, such as EVs, to US$3,500 and offers an extra US$1,000 incentive for car owners who trade in their petrol-run cars. It also demands that all new vehicle sales be zero emission starting by 2035.

With the signature of the bill, it will fast-forward the necessary upgrades for the grid in order to sustain the growth of renewable energy as well as promote the use of energy storage, in various forms, to avoid curtailments.

Ben Hellerstein, state director for Environment Massachusetts, said the bill was a “bid deal” and added: “It will accelerate our transition to renewable sources of electricity like wind and solar. And it will allow up to 10 cities and towns to require new buildings to include clean, all-electric heating and appliances, paving the way to safer, healthier homes and businesses for all of us.”

A fifth of all electricity consumption comes from solar power in Massachusetts, with almost 4GW of installed capacity as of Q1 2022, according to data from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

After signing the bill, governor Baker tweeted: “Addressing climate change requires bold, urgent action. I am proud to have supported the Commonwealth’s leadership on these critical issues to preserve our climate and our communities for future generations.”

This article was amended on 15 August to remove reference to an expansion of the size of residential solar systems eligible for net metering under the bill. This part of the bill was removed by an amendment filed by 31 July.

4 June 2024
London, UK
UK Solar Summit 2024 will look at the role solar currently plays in the energy mix, how this will change over the coming years and how this aligns with net-zero and other government targets. We will break down all these challenges and help build up solutions through discursive panels, motivational keynotes and case studies, with newly added interactive sessions to get you moving and meeting your peers, making the connections you need to boost your business.
8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.

Read Next

May 17, 2024
Solar trade body SolarPower Europe has launched a digital map to showcase agrivoltaics projects in 10 countries in Europe.
May 16, 2024
French renewables company Voltalia has begun construction on a 126MW solar PV project in Uzbekistan.
May 10, 2024
Dutch-Norwegian floating solar company SolarDuck and real estate firm Tokyu Land have completed an offshore floating solar PV (FPV) project in Japan.
May 8, 2024
London-headquartered renewables developer Oracle Power has begun feasibility studies for a 1.3GW solar, wind and battery energy storage system (BESS) project in Pakistan.
May 7, 2024
The Italian government has banned solar PV installations on agricultural land in a move that the nation’s solar trade association said would cost Italy €60 billion (US$64.5 billion).
April 30, 2024
With more than 1TW of solar waiting for grid connection, PV Tech Premium looks at where the PV capacity is queued up in the US.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
May 29, 2024
11am (EDT) / 5pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
June 4, 2024
London, UK
Upcoming Webinars
June 11, 2024
3:00 PM (BST) / 4:00 PM (CEST)
Solar Media Events
July 2, 2024
Athens, Greece