This guide is intended to help local decision-makers and community members in Massachusetts answer common questions about ground-mounted solar PV development. Ground-mounted solar PV has many proven advantages and there has been a steady growth of well received projects in the Commonwealth. However, these systems are still relatively new and unfamiliar additions to our physical landscape. This guide focuses on questions that have been raised concerning the installation and operation of ground-mounted solar PV projects. It provides summaries and links to existing research and studies that can help understand solar PV technology in general and ground-mounted solar in particular. Solar PV panels can and are of course also installed on buildings, car ports or light poles.
This guide focuses on ground-mounted systems since most questions relate to this type of solar installation. Developed through the partnership of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), this guide draws from existing recent literature in the United States and abroad and is not the result of new original scientific studies. The text was reviewed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
As more or new information becomes available, the guide will be updated and expanded accordingly.