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Small-scale solar is saving New England’s climate goals

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ClimateWire, April 2022

When Claire Chang and her husband started a residential solar company here in 2008, installing photovoltaic panels on homes was a niche business. Most customers were older. The vast majority had already gone to great lengths to cut their electricity consumption. And those who installed panels on their homes were willing to absorb the costs. “The costs were so high it was a very small group of people,” Chang said. “These were the clothesline people. It was a different mindset.”

Fourteen years later, distributed solar in New England is anything but small. So many panels have been installed on homes and businesses that New England’s fleet of small-scale solar systems can crank out more power during the middle of the day than its two remaining nuclear facilities. Wholesale power prices increasingly turn negative during the daytime hours, with power generation exceeding demand.

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