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Massachusetts boosts solar

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has announced plans to extend the Commonwealth’s successful Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC 2) program until it completes a long-term replacement.

Since its inception, the SREC 2 program has led Massachusetts to more than 1,600 megawatts of solar development and supported thousands of local jobs, investments and a healthier environment for Bay State families and businesses. Solar associations, businesses, non-profits and supporters praised the move to address the gap between the SREC 2 program and its successor. Advocates also highlighted the need for state lawmakers to raise the Commonwealth’s net metering caps this session. As of this writing, there are waiting lists for net metering cap allocations in two utility service territories. Below are statements from advocates following the announcement:

"The solar industry applauds Massachusetts Governor Baker and the Department of Energy Resources, led by Commissioner Judith Judson, for their efforts to extend the Solar Renewable Energy Credit 2 program,” said Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State Affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association. "With this extension now on the books, we are asking the Baker Administration and lawmakers to support an increase to the Commonwealth’s net metering caps. We look forward to working with the Legislature and the Governor to enact legislation raising the caps this year.”

“Solar is delivering economic and environmental benefits to Massachusetts, with tens of thousands of solar jobs, millions of dollars in energy savings and significant reductions in our air and water pollution,” said Nathan Phelps, Program Manager of Distributed Generation Regulatory Policy at Vote Solar. “The Commonwealth is on the path to a bright solar future, and we applaud the Baker Administration for seeking to avoid a bump in the trail with this extension. Whether solar remains on that path will depend on the Administration and Legislature lifting limits on net metering and creating a viable new incentive program.”

"We commend the Baker Administration for continuing its effort to provide a strong policy framework for solar energy in the Commonwealth and its recognition of the need for continuity and certainty to attract investment," said NECEC President Peter Rothstein. "With the transition to the successor incentive program now confirmed, businesses, municipalities, and residents will continue to find the value and opportunity to build solar projects that will preserve local jobs and provide economic, energy and environmental benefits to the Commonwealth."

“Community shared solar projects are saving towns and customers money while providing clean, local power across the Commonwealth,” said Coalition for Community Solar Access Executive Director Jeff Cramer. “We applaud the Department of Energy Resources for extending the SREC 2 program to allow more community solar to come online while it works to finalize the next generation incentive program. It is now up to the Administration to get that program right and to the Legislature to raise the net metering caps to ensure equal access to solar and keep solar jobs strong in the Bay State.”

“Over the years, Massachusetts has done a marvelous job encouraging an emerging solar industry, creating thousands of jobs, and helping to put clean energy resources into the hands of mainstream people and local businesses,” said Bill Stillinger, President of the Solar Energy Association of New England (SEBANE). “The SREC extension announced today avoids a major market disruption and continues our state’s progress toward a clean energy future.”

Labels: Massachusetts,net metering,SEIA,solar investment

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