Protect Farmland from Solar Development
On September 17, 2020 the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) released its SMART Agricultural Solar Tariff Generation Units Straw Proposal, which proposes greatly expanding the use of farmland for solar development. In part, the expansion relies on the premise that certain agricultural activities could continue under elevated solar panels. While the idea of such "dual use" is laudable, actual data on the sustainability of agricultural activities under solar panels is limited at this time. While MLTC supports the state's efforts to expand renewable energy to address climate change, we are preparing written comments to encourage a cautious approach to siting solar installations on farmland. You can submit your own comments on the Agricultural Straw Proposal to DOER by the deadline of 5 pm on Friday, October 30, 2020. Submit comments to DOER.SMART@mass.gov with "SMART ASTGU Guideline Comments" in the subject line. Read more here.