Governor Deval Patrick of the U.S. state of Massachusetts has signed into law legislation that includes an increase in the cap for the state’s net metering policy, which allows small solar photovoltaic (PV) plants to feed electricity into the grid in an equal exchange for retail power.
Among other changes to utility law, the bill also establishes a competitive solicitation process for renewable energy procurement. The bill was supported by both the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA, Washington D.C., U.S.) and the VoteSolar Initiative (San Francisco, California, U.S.).
“Net metering has played a tremendous role in making Massachusetts the solar success it is today,” states VoteSolar Policy Advocate Hannah Masterjohn. “By extending this important consumer right to more Bay Staters, this Act will keep Massachusetts going solar.”
“We thank policymakers for putting the state’s sunshine to work producing much-needed energy, local jobs and a healthier environment for us all.”
Net metering cap increased to 6% of peak load
S.2395 will increase the state’s total net metering cap from 3% to 6% of peak load, exempting some projects from the cap altogether. The bill additionally increases the private net metering cap and the net metering cap for government entities and municipalities.
Massachusetts is one of 43 U.S. states that has adopted net metering, which is seen by advocates as a core policy for the expansion of residential PV.
Finally, S.2395 allows electric utilities in the state to own up to 25 MW of PV generation capacity. SEIA notes that despite the achievements of the bill, the Massachusetts Legislature has failed to address a property tax issue, which it says is causing uncertainty for solar consumers and developers.
Source: Solar Server