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Published on April 22, 2024
Massachusetts Wins $156 Million EPA Grant to Boost Solar Power for 31,000 Low-Income FamiliesSource: Unsplash/ Giorgio Trovato

The Healey-Driscoll administration announced a whopping $156 million windfall of federal funds to propel the Solar for All competition forward, courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Gov. Maura Healey trumpeted the victory, which is expected to slash energy costs for about 31,000 of the state's low-income families, according to a report released by

Chalking it up to a team effort, Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll and others consolidated forces – more than 80 stakeholders, to be precise – to pitch a single application in the Solar for All national contest. Driscoll stated, "Instead of dozens of small applications coming from our state competing against each other, we worked with over 80 stakeholders and communities to put forward a single strong application. That’s the power of partnership in a high-stakes, federal competition." The concerted push proved to be a winner, as Massachusetts grabbed the largest slice of the program's pie in New England.

The funding comes as part of the Inflation Reduction Act's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund – a treasure chest meant to back state-led climate initiatives. This particular grant will help Massachusetts to roll out 125 megawatts of solar capacity that aims to both stir up 2,800 clean energy jobs and cut carbon emissions by 70,500 tons each year.

The Solar for All initiative is not limited to lowering monthly power bills. It's a dive into green job creation and a greener environment, stated Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper, "Climate change presents us with an opportunity to do things differently – with Solar for All, the people most deeply impacted by extreme weather and pollution will be at the front of the line for clean, affordable, locally-produced energy." Tepper told that locals will soon witness the perks of this shift – jobs galore and cleaner air.

Massachusetts is positioning itself as a national pacesetter in solar deployment. Elizabeth Mahony, Energy Resources Commissioner, said her team is "thrilled" to receive the federal funds which is expected to amp up their solar programming.

On the broader stage, the EPA's Solar for All competition has committed $7 billion to ensure 900,000 households, particularly those in disadvantaged communities, can tap into solar energy's promise. EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan emphasized the broader vision, stating, “Today we’re delivering on President Biden’s promise that no community is left behind by investing $7 billion in solar energy projects for over 900,000 households in low-income and disadvantaged communities,” during the announcement of the funding.

Accompanying the solar panel installations and zero-interest loans, the state's plan includes funding for technical assistance, outreach, and workforce training. The Sundered vision is clear: to tackle inequity, climate change, and economic growth in one fell swoop. And as the state layers its solar strategy with housing know-how from entities like MassHousing and the Boston Housing Authority, they're banking on a bright, sustainable future that's expected to shine on all Mass residents.