Lawmakers Should Now Raise Statewide Net Metering Caps
BOSTON, Mass. - 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."
Celebrating its 43rd anniversary in 2017, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, which now employs more than 260,000 Americans. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to build jobs and diversity, champion the use of cost-competitive solar in America, remove market barriers and educate the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.
About Vote Solar:
Vote Solar is a non-profit organization working to foster economic development and energy independence by bringing solar energy to the mainstream nationwide. Learn more at www.votesolar.org
NECEC is a clean energy business, policy, and innovation organization whose mission is to create a world-class clean energy hub in the Northeast, delivering global impact with economic, energy and environmental solutions. NECEC is the only organization in the Northeast that covers all the clean energy market segments, representing the business perspectives of investors and clean energy companies across every stage of development. NECEC members span the broad spectrum of the clean energy industry, including energy efficiency, wind, solar, energy storage, microgrids, fuel cells, and advanced and "smart" technologies.
About the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA):
Founded in February 2016, CCSA is a business-led trade organization that works to expand access to clean, local, affordable energy nationwide through community solar. Community solar refers to local solar facilities shared by individual community members, who receive credits on their electricity bills for their portion of the power produced. Community solar projects provide American homeowners, renters and businesses access to the benefits of solar energy generation unconstrained by the physical attributes of their home or business, like roof space, shading, or whether or not they own their residence or building. These programs can also expand access to solar energy to low-income households. For more information on CCSA, visit the website at www.communitysolaraccess.org, like the Coalition on Facebook at www.facebook.com/communitysolaraccess and follow the Coalition on Twitter at @solaraccess.
The Solar Energy Business Association of New England is a nonprofit trade association of approximately 70 solar-related entities doing business in New England. Founded in 2002, SEBANE focuses on networking, education, and advocacy for a clean energy future in the region.