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Old Port City, New Energy Tricks

Myriam Alexander-Kearns explains why New Bedford, Massachusetts, is becoming a national leader for photovoltaic solar power.

Located 60 miles south of Boston, New Bedford, MA is a city that has experienced a succession of economic evolutions, from whaling in the 19th century to textiles and commercial fishing in the 20th century. New Bedford was the global center of the whaling industry from the early 1800s until the industry steadily declined following the discovery of petroleum in 1859, and the price of whale oil dropped substantially. Around the same time, the textile industry was growing in the city, with the first textile mill chartered in 1846. At the height of the industry’s success, the city’s cluster of textile manufacturing was among the largest in the nation, employing more than a third of New Bedford residents.

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Myriam Alexander-Kearns

Policy Analyst