BOSTON (WWLP) - State officials are looking to take solar energy to the next level.
Massachusetts is making great strides in solar energy development, but as the state reaches its clean energy goals early on, advocates are asking for greater investment in solar power.
Massachusetts is set to generate 250 megawatts of solar energy four years ahead of the state's 2017 goal. Clean energy advocates told officials at the state's Department of Energy Resources hearing, also known as the DOER, how the progress has benefited electricity customers.
"We showed a price decline of 29 percent year over year from 2011 and that put us number 2 relative to other states in terms of price decline," said Carrie Cullen Hitt, Senior VP State Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Assoc.
The state requires electricity suppliers to obtain a percentage of their electricity supply from renewable energy sources. But because to fast solar energy growth, producers worry that if they supply more clean energy than what the state requires, utility companies won't buy their product.
Pete Fine, owner of U.S. Solar Works, told 22News, "We have a large oversupply right now, the state has built up solar much more rapidly than anyone has anticipated."
Dwayne Breger, renewable energy director for the Dept. of Renewable Energy Resources said, "There also has been a call, I would say, from the market to try to make things simpler and particularly to reduce the degree of uncertainty in the marketplace."
Many solar energy providers are asking the DOER to increase the Commonwealth's current requirement that 400 MW of our electricity come from clean energy sources.
"Community leaders, organizations, businesses and just the public across Massachusetts, we're encouraging the DOER to quadruple that carve-out to 1600 megawatts," said Danielle Falzon, associate for Environment Massachusetts.
The DOER will continue to accept written comments on expanding the solar energy industry until Monday at 5pm.