As the Commonwealth of Massachusetts addresses climate change through renewable energy development and other strategies, AMC and partners have urged Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to identify areas where solar development should be avoided and encouraged. A solar siting analysis by DOER found that almost 8,000 acres of forest and farmland were developed for ground-mounted solar between 2010-2019.
DOER is currently conducting an online solar siting survey to determine the best locations for future solar projects. The survey will inform a broader study on the technical potential of solar. Please help the state determine where solar should be located by taking the survey by November 18, 2022.
DOER is also hosting a virtual public workshop on November 15, 2022, 12PM - 2PM via Zoom. We hope you can participate.
For the survey and the workshop, these points from AMC’s energy & climate policies may be helpful:
- Grid-scale solar development should be sited in areas of preexisting high disturbance or development, i.e. landfills, brownfields, highway cloverleaf interchanges, etc.
- Solar development should be discouraged where it displaces prime agricultural land, unique farmland, and additional land of statewide importance.
- Grid-scale solar energy development should seek to avoid impacts to scenic, ecological, and/or recreational resources.
- Conversion of forested, or recently harvested, lands to solar should be discouraged to avoid compromising both ecological habitat and forest carbon sequestration.
- Grid-scale development project installations, including analyses of environmental impacts, should be tracked in a manner readily available to the public by regulating agencies. Agencies should create maps identifying all grid-scale solar developments and make them publicly available.
AMC strongly supports the Commonwealth’s goal to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. A large amount of solar will likely be required and your input now will help steer development toward the most suitable locations.