U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is visiting New Hampshire and Maine on Friday to promote renewable energy.
The visit comes as the Biden administration and congressional Democrats work to shore up support for infrastructure spending and measures to slow climate change.
Granholm will discuss offshore wind energy at a Portsmouth roundtable with Sen. Maggie Hassan and Rep. Chris Pappas, before visiting a solar array being developed in Manchester.
The Department of Energy estimates offshore wind energy in New Hampshire could eventually produce 3.4 gigawatts — about double the output of the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant.
In Manchester, Granholm will visit the Dunbarton Road site of a former landfill that is becoming a large solar array.
City aldermen approved the Dunbarton Road solar project approved in 2019, when it was projected that the solar power could supply a quarter of the Queen City’s electricity.
After two years of planning and permitting, solar panels will start being installed this month, said Lauren Smith, Mayor Joyce Craig’s chief of staff.
Smith said the city expected the solar farm to be finished by the end of the year.
In the two years since aldermen approved the solar project, a new state law cleared the way for the project to grow. Until this year, renewable energy producers in New Hampshire could only sell one megawatt back to electric utilities. A state law now allows selling back up to five megawatts.
Gov. Chris Sununu signed the bill into law in August.
Solar power is expected to grow around the country. The U.S. Department of Energy released a report on Wednesday that projected solar power could provide 40% of the country’s electricity by 2035.
“The study illuminates the fact that solar, our cheapest and fastest-growing source of clean energy, could produce enough electricity to power all of the homes in the U.S. by 2035 and employ as many as 1.5 million people in the process,” Granholm said in a statement.