Solar energy growing in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has been ranked among the top 10 states in terms of solar energy

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Solar energy is getting more popular in our state.

The Solar Energy Industries Association ranked Massachusetts seventh in terms of its solar energy output. Residents, businesses, and even farms are going solar.

“It’s a way to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels,” said Dan Rosenberg, Founder of Real Pickles in Greenfield. “Its been amazing to see the growth of solar energy right here in Franklin County.”

Massachusetts produced more than 14,500 jobs in the solar industry in 2016.

“Jobs are a big thing for us, permanent jobs here in Greenfield,” said Jon Child, Design & Sales Team Leader of PV Squared. “That’s a big economic impact for Greenfield itself and its been an awful lot of fun to watch the company grow.”

The interest for solar energy is on the rise in Franklin County. Over the past year, a number of homeowners installed solar panels with support from the state.

“The pricing of solar has come down, incentives are great right now, and the state introduced a mass solar loan which makes it extremely easy for people to own their own solar array,” said Carole Colllins, Director of Greenfield’s Energy and Sustainability Department.

Lenders offer 10-year fixed-rate loans of up to $35,000 to fund home-based solar installations.

There is also a 30 percent federal tax credit. Collins said installing solar panels for an average homeowner costs between $20 to $25,000.

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