- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - The Patrick administration is hoping to encourage the growth of solar energy projects on landfills, “brownfield” sites, and residential rooftops in Massachusetts.

The initiative is part of a larger program designed to reach 1,600 megawatts of installed solar capacity in the state by 2020.

The program also aims to ensure steady annual growth and control ratepayer costs. The administration said it’s accepting applications for the program’s second phase.

The first phase of the program encouraged the development of solar energy projects by businesses, homes and institutions.

That helped the state boost the amount of solar energy produced in Massachusetts from 3 megawatts when Patrick took office to 496 megawatts now.

Currently, 349 of the state’s 351 cities and towns have at least one solar installation, according to the administration.

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