July 2015

6,000 Massachusetts Voters Urge Lawmakers to Expand Solar Net Metering Program

July 28, 2015

Today, solar advocates delivered more than 6,000 petition signatures from Massachusetts voters urging state lawmakers to raise the cap on one of the Commonwealth’s most successful solar programs: net metering. The demonstration of public support comes less than a week after the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed S.

#SolarisWorking! Now tell Speaker DeLeo to Sun Up.

July 24, 2015

This week, bipartisan leaders in the Massachusetts Senate acted to lifted a cap on solar net metering. Net metering is the way we buy and sell the sun’s energy in the Bay State (and most of the country) and it’s a solid system for compensating solar owners and other users for what they generate.

Utility Solar May Cost Less, but it is also Worth Less

July 21, 2015

Utility-scale solar and residential solar aren’t comparable on a levelized cost basis, because only one delivers power at the point of use (residential solar). 

Utility-scale solar has to get to customers, and that getting requires access to (and often construction of) high-voltage transmission infrastructure that is not only controversial, but expensive.  The chart, based on Clean Coalition analysis in 2011, shows that transmission costs for large-scale solar projects can outweigh economies of scale from being big.

Why you need to take utility cost estimates for solar with a giant grain of salt

July 20, 2015

The utilities claim to support solar but then go on to say they have the interest of ratepayers in mind when they advocate for leaving net metering caps in place.  The cost of solar is simply too high, they claim, and net metering caps will protect ratepayers as the Commonwealth figures out what to do on the solar policy front.  To bolster their position, the utilities toss out cost figures for solar programs that range in the billions of dollars.  Listening to their rhetoric, you'd think we simply can't afford to keep paying for solar.

The Grid is at a Fork in the Road

July 20, 2015

Solar PV and batteries will be part of the grid of the future. But what part? And what sort of grid? The answers are as yet uncertain, but decisions made today will set the grid’s evolution on a trajectory from which it will be harder to course correct in the future. And that evolution and trajectory could differ from one state to another.