Current Massachusetts solar policies are changing and the current SREC program is being replaced by a new Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target “SMART” program which is expected to be implemented by March 31, 2018. If you are already in the SREC program, you will remain in the program, with no changes to your SREC account.
If you install a solar array and it is completed on or before March 31, 2018, you will still be eligible to participate in the SREC program. For systems that are completed after March 31, 2018, you will be eligible for the new SMART program.
This new SMART incentive program has been developed to incentivize an additional 1.6 GW of solar PV in the state, which is expected to replace the current SREC II production based incentive program.
The DOER believes that a tariff-based incentive program would be best mechanism to continue supporting solar at the lowest cost to ratepayers. The new policy is based on a declining block grant incentive system, to be paid out on the basis of energy delivered.
Under the final tariff design there will be different rates for projects of different scales up to 5 MW per site. Incentives will be provided for 10-20 years, with varied values depending on ownership, system size and location. The tariff will consist of 8 blocks, with tariff values decreasing 5% in each subsequent block. A certain portion of each block will most likely be set aside for smaller projects as well.
The recovery of costs would be made through a fixed charge to all customers in the network. But unlike many standard offer or feed-in tariff policies the incentive will be paid “net of energy value”, which would allow the program to work in conjunction with net metered systems. There is an additional incentive of $.05 per kWh if plant owners decide to opt out of the net metering program.
Basic Features of New Program are as follows:
- 1,600 MW AC declining block program
- Applies to all electric distribution companies
- Same compensation rates across state
- 10 or 20-year fixed price term depending on project capacity (10-year for small, 20-
year for large)
- Compensation structure differentiated between sized-to-load and standalone systems
- Base compensation rates set according to project size
- Adders based on location, and those that provide unique benefits, including
community solar, low-income, public, and energy storage projects
- Base compensation rates decline by set percentages in each block following Block 1
- Maximum project size of 5 MW per parcel
For more detailed information on Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Final Program Design please visit MA Smart Solar