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    State is seeing the light on solar energy

    RE Dartmouth leads the way in solar” (Business, May 2): Six years ago, when Governor Patrick set a statewide solar goal, many thought it was just aspirational. In fact, it was inspirational.

    Massachusetts has hit that goal four years ahead of schedule and on Wednesday the governor dramatically expanded Massachusetts’ solar goal. It’s bold, but not unreasonable. There has been a 70-fold increase in solar capacity since Patrick set the 250 megawatt goal in April 2007. Last year alone, 110 megawatts of solar were installed in Massachusetts, due largely to strong state policies and widespread public support.

    For example, in August, Patrick signed a bill that expanded “net metering,” allowing more people to sell their excess solar energy back to the grid. In addition, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Solarize Massachusetts has partnered with local governments to make solar more affordable and more accessible in communities across the Commonwealth.

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    It’s great to see the governor keep the pedal to the metal when it comes to solar. Together, Massachusetts citizens, businesses, and towns will rise to the challenge of meeting the governor’s new goal of getting 1,600 megawatts of energy from solar by 2020.

    Johanna Neumann

    Regional director

    Environment Massachusetts

    Boston