Shining Cities: Harnessing the Benefits of Solar Power

April 28, 2015

Today, Environment Mass released a new report, Shining Cities: Harnessing the Benefits of Solar Energy in America, comparing the amount of solar currently installed in 64 major U.S. cities.

Environmental groups express concern over minimum bill proposal before Task Force

April 27, 2015

With the month of April coming to a close, the Net Metering and Solar Task Force is preparing a set of final recommendations for the legislature.  Among them, is a possible recommendation to implement a minimum bill for all electricity ratepayers.  A minimum bill sets the floor for electricity bills.  Their appeal, from the utility perspective, is that they effectively guarantee that every electricity account will have to pay some amount of money to the utility every month regardless of how much electricity is used, solar power is generated, etc.

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

April 23, 2015

You say solar is working in Massachusetts. I hear conflicting reports.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Massachusetts has had an incredible string of solar successes. We are a national leader in solar power. The Commonwealth ranks 2nd nationwide for the number of solar jobs created and 4th in terms of total installed capacity. The solar power systems installed in Massachusetts generate enough electricity to power 120,000 homes. 

Solar continues to be held captive to net metering limits

April 22, 2015

With this winter's snow all but melted and the temperatures climbing, solar projects across the Commonwealth remain on hold thanks to net metering cap limits. As of 4/22, more than 60 MW of solar was on the waiting list in National Grid territory (see table below).  The current backlog of solar projects is greater than the total amount solar installed in Massachusetts in 2011.  Stalled projects include low income, community shared and municipal solar projects.

Solar community asks legislators to act quickly to raise net metering caps

April 15, 2015

In a letter sent to legislators today, Massachusetts solar industry representatives asked legislators to raise net metering caps as soon as possible.  Net metering caps have been hit in National Grid territory, limiting access to solar in 171 comunities in the Commonwealth and stalling more than 55 MW of solar projects (see column d in the highlighted area below).  The amount of solar projects on hold at the moment exceeds the total capacity of solar installed in Massachusetts in 2011.

New Study Values Solar at 22-28 cents per kWh

April 14, 2015

A study released today by the Acadia Center puts the value of solar at 22-28 cents/kWh, with additional societal values of 6.7 cents/kWh.  A summary of the study's results from the Acadia Center is below.  You can access the study here.

More than 120 people stand up for solar on Beacon Hill

April 8, 2015

Massachusetts citizens, businesses, organizations and solar developers from across the Commonwealth gathered on Beacon Hill yesterday at the Stand Up for Solar lobby day.  More than 120 people met with or stopped by more than 130 legislative offices in a strong show of support for solar and the policies that have encouraged its development. Participants asked legislators to act quickly to address the net metering cap issue to keep solar working for Massachusetts.

Are solar and net metering a net positive for ratepayers?

April 6, 2015

The answer is, yes.  As an increasing number of studies have shown, more often than not, solar and net metering provide a net benefit to ratepayers.  Nevertheless, utility companies, and others in Massachusetts continue to assert that solar and net metering raises electricity rates and only benefits the lucky few solar owners.   They even claim that solar hurts low income people.  These claims are misguided and untrue.

DPU okays adjustment to National Grid's net metering caps

April 2, 2015

On March 31, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) approved a petition filed by National Grid (Company) in mid-February to adjust capacity under the Company's caps. This request was filed after an internal review revealed that solar projects had been included under the wrong cap.

Situation goes from bad to worse as net metering cap stalls private projects in National Grid territory

March 31, 2015

Update: The number of solar projects on hold has doubled in the last 24 hours. As of 4:00PM on April 1st, there are now 22.7 MW of solar projects on hold. This is not a joke. 


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