Powered By: SEBANE's Solar Champions Chairmen Golden & Barrett

Welcome to SEBANE’s continuing series spotlighting the solar champions we recognize doing good work here in Massachusetts. Here’s your chance to meet our solar champions that are powering the industry on Beacon Hill!

SEBANE’s first solar spotlight shines on the 2018 leaders of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, & Energy: House Chairman Thomas Golden and Senate Chairman Michael Barrett.

House Chairman Tom Golden

House Chairman Tom Golden

Senate Chairman Michael Barrett

Senate Chairman Michael Barrett

Legislative initiatives surrounding solar receive substantial support in the Commonwealth, but this team of lawmakers has worked diligently to amplify Massachusetts’ solar presence, loosen restrictions to solar capacity growth, and boost incentives to increase solar installation, generation, and financial benefits.

All together, these legislators and their counterparts in the Executive Branch worked tirelessly throughout 2018 to help pass S3202, An Act To Promote A Clean Energy Future. This legislation supports SEBANE’s member base and the solar industry at large by making the switch to renewable energy sources more feasible for individual customers.

Rep. Golden at Chelmsford Solar Panels

Rep. Golden at Chelmsford Solar Panels

The legislation also created a new energy storage target of 1,000 Megawatt hours by 2025, and established the Clean Peak Standard, which calls for an additional 0.25% of retail energy supply coming from clean peak certificates. SEBANE was very happy to welcome this step in the right direction, and looks forward to working with our solar champions on additional steps forward this year in order to achieve lasting progress for clean energy in Massachusetts. To read more about S3202, read Commonwealth Magazine’s coverage here.

Chairman Golden, the Democratic representative from the 16th Middlesex district, has tirelessly pushed for legislation that will increase the production and generation of renewable energy, including and especially solar.

The bills Chairman Golden co-sponsored this session aim to increase citizens’ access to MA’s modern energy grid, increase the presence of electric vehicles, ensure equitable energy development, increase renewable energy storage, and improve renewable resource infrastructure to ensure reliability of renewable resource energy generation and distribution.

On the Senate side, democratic Chairman Michael Barrett, from the 3rd Middlesex district, has also been an ardent advocate for solar.

Senator Barrett at a San Francisco forum titled “Financing Climate Justice”

Senator Barrett at a San Francisco forum titled “Financing Climate Justice”

Chairman Barrett has sponsored bills that advance shared solar, reduce plastic waste, increase the adoption of electric vehicles, and create a fund supporting vulnerable counties affected by climate change.

Chairmen Barrett and Golden have had a meaningful impact on Massachusetts’ efforts to meet our greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements, on expanding access to solar and on the growth of the clean energy economy. We appreciate their leadership and that of their House and Senate colleagues on the Joint Telecommunications, Energy and Utilities Committee (TUE) in supporting the growth of solar and other renewable sources of energy. We look forward to supporting their efforts in combating climate change and further growing the clean energy economy this session. And we are excited that they both will lead the TUE in the 2019/2020 session.

Thanks also to the membership of the Commonwealth’s House of Representatives and Senate, solar has made great progress in terms of increased generation, installation, and capacity throughout the state. They serve as an example of the path our leaders should follow—working to create and enact progressive policy aimed at protecting and conserving the environment of the Commonwealth and promoting long-term solutions for renewable energy, and especially solar, in Massachusetts.

Employees of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Employees of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

In addition, a special thanks is in order for the Baker Administration and specifically, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, led by Secretary Matt Beaton, Undersecretary Patrick Woodcock, DOER Commissioner Judith Judson, and Renewable and Alternative Energy Division Director Michael Judge. Working with the Massachusetts Legislature, they have increased the renewable portfolio standard, effectively setting goals for an increased percentage of energy production from renewable sources. They have also been instrumental in rolling out the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program, setting important energy storage goals and implementing the Massachusetts Solar Loan Program.

Stay tuned for SEBANE’s continuing spotlight series on Massachusetts’ solar champions. We’re excited to highlight the great work being done in our state for the benefit of the solar industry, and thus all ratepayers and citizens.

Susan Howe