2017 Report on environmental destruction by ground-mounted solar in Massachusetts

In 2017, Environment Watch of Southeastern Massachusetts issued Loss of Open Space, Cultural Resources & Community Character Caused by Industrial Ground-Mounted Solar Energy Systems in Massachusetts.

This report was a groundbreaking look at the impacts of the state’s solar programs from the perspective of local communities bearing the brunt of deforestation, loss of community character, loss of historic Native American sites and reduced property values.

The report called for stronger municipal and called on the state Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to stop subsidizing solar projects that destroyed forests and farmland. Unfortunately, DOER failed to adopt responsible solar siting regulations and the deforestation, loss of biodiversity, destruction of cultural sites and loss of farmland for irresponsibly sited solar only accelerated after 2017. In 2021 MassAudubon reported that 4,000 acres had been lost to solar.

The Report is available here:

Table of Contents of 2017 Solar Report by the Environmental Watch of Southeastern Massachusetts