The future of solar power subsidies unclear

Solar power accounts for 2 percent of the state's total energy output

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Debate is intensifying about what to do about the future of solar power in Massachusetts. Gov. Charlie Baker has put together a new solar proposal that would replace the expiring solar program. It’s goal would be to double the amount of installed solar power in Massachusetts over the next five to six years.

Solar is growing source of energy in western Massachusetts and in Franklin County. The Solar Store of Greenfield led the Solarized Shelburne Conway Colrain Program, which helped get close to 300 residents discounted solar panels. “It was a tremendous outpouring of people who wanted to help participate,” co-owner Claire Chang told 22News. “One, to reduce their electricity bills; and two, to also to be able to generate electricity from the sun.”

The Solar Store of Greenfield’s program began in July and ended on Monday. Chang did say it’s hard in Franklin County for some residents to use solar panels with the amount of trees in the area.

Chang said solar power makes up only about 2 percent of the state’s total energy. Baker’s proposal would get the state up to 7 percent.