The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) welcomed the release of proposed changes to the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program, an initiative that supports cost-effective distributed solar deployment in Massachusetts. Only one year into the program, Massachusetts is more than halfway toward the 1.6 gigawatt program limit, prompting a review and new program proposal from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER).
Following is a statement from David Gahl, senior director of state affairs, northeast at the Solar Energy Industries Association, calling on DOER and the Baker Administration to expand the SMART program:
“DOER’s proposal reflects a thoughtful review of the most pressing challenges and questions that have emerged during the initial phase of the SMART program. Among the changes, DOER is addressing implementation difficulties and is encouraging energy storage use and solar systems serving businesses and on-site energy needs. While we are pleased to see this progress, significant concerns remain. Most importantly, the 800 megawatt expansion is insufficient—it will not meet near-term customer demand, provide certainty to solar firms, or achieve the Commonwealth’s clean energy goals.
"In addition, the proposed changes include penalty increases for most ground-mounted projects, calling into question the viability of future community solar projects. SEIA looks forward to working with Massachusetts regulators and the Baker Administration to ensure the long-term success of the solar industry across all market segments.”