Boston — Just two weeks after Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill to lift caps on a key solar energy program, the cap has been hit again for some types of solar installations.
The projects affected are privately owned solar installations in towns and cities that receive their electricity from National Grid. As a result of the cap hit this week, private solar projects in those communities will not be able to participate in net metering, a program that allows solar owners to receive fair credit for the electricity they provide to the grid.
Ben Hellerstein, Environment Massachusetts State Director, issued the following statement:
“The good news is that solar is growing more rapidly than anyone had expected. The bad news is that yet again, we’re in a position where families and businesses who want to switch to solar won’t be able to do so.
“It’s great that state leaders acted two weeks ago to add enough solar to power 100,000 homes. But we don’t just need 100,000 solar homes — we need 100 percent clean energy for Massachusetts.
“There’s no reason to put a limit on solar power. That’s why legislative leaders should eliminate the caps on net metering before they head home in July. Additionally, they should ensure that everyone can access the benefits of solar by restoring full net metering credit value to community solar and low-income solar projects.”
One reason that the cap was hit again so quickly is that hundreds of solar projects were already on the waiting list to qualify for net metering. Projects that have already applied for net metering credits will still be able to qualify for the program, but any additional private solar projects in the National Grid service territory above the size of a typical rooftop installation will not be able to access net metering without further legislative action.
The National Grid service territory includes 151 cities and towns in Massachusetts.
Environment Massachusetts is the statewide, citizen-funded advocacy group working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.