On January 31, 2017 Massachusetts released plans for the redesign of the program to incentivize solar energy construction in the state. The DOER slideshow is here. Massachusetts commitment to support solar energy production remains but is reshaped – to target the projects deemed optimal and to reduce rewards for putting solar farms in undeveloped green fields.
The new program ties state incentive compensation for large projects (>1MW) to the value of the energy produced – unlike the retired system where Massachusetts Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECS) fluctuated based on trading value. Modifications to the rules were motivated by a sense that the old SREC system involved too many ‘soft costs’ related to financing.
Subsidies from Massachusetts to the owners of solar projects will decline gradually over years as new ‘blocks’ of projects are accepted. Each block will include both large and small projects – both giant landfill solar covering jobs and also residential installations. Homeowners’ projects dubbed ‘behind the meter’ will see State incentives fixed for ten years at the time of interconnection.
Massachusetts revised the nature of its solar subsidy program but the state’s new program shows it values solar power creation and the jobs associated with it.