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December 9, 2014

Baker urged to continue solar energy support

An environmental advocacy group, backed by hundreds of local officials throughout Massachusetts, is urging Governor-elect Charlie Baker to support the continued growth of solar energy.

Environment Massachusetts released a letter Tuesday signed by more than 340 local officials from 135 towns and cities. The letter asks Baker to establish a goal of getting 20 percent of the state’s electricity from the sun by 2025. The letter was signed by 50 officials in Worcester County, including the boards of selectmen for Berlin, Bolton, Douglas, Grafton, Lancaster, Lunenberg, Mendon, Millbury, Templeton and West Boylston.

“All across the state, solar energy is helping communities fight global warming and cut harmful air pollution, while providing a boost to the local economy,” Ben Hellerstein, campaign organizer for Environment Massachusetts, said in a statement. “Solar is growing rapidly, but there’s so much more that we can do.

Hellerstein outlined the benefits of solar development both environmentally and economically in a recent opinion piece for the Worcester Business Journal, co-authored with Mark Durrenberger of New England Clean Energy in Husdson. The solar industry supports more than 12,000 jobs in Massachusetts, according to a recent study from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. Setting a 20 percent goal for 2025 will support even more job growth, Hellerstein said.

A copy of the letter is available online.

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