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A primer on solar energy and policy in Massachusetts

January 31, 2016

Rep. Frank Simzik and his staff have put together a fantastic solar briefing as part of a recent solar policy update e-mailed to constituents and supporters.  We loved it so much we thought we'd share it with you.

Solar Energy in Massachusetts: What is solar net metering and how can it benefit communities in the Commonwealth?

Solar Net Metering: The Basics

 What is solar net metering?

Solar advocates say projects imperiled under bills being negotiated

January 14, 2016

MassSolar hosted a legislative briefing on solar on Beacon Hill today.  The briefing discussed the range of benefits that solar provides across the Commonwealth and the impact of recent legislative proposals on low income, community shared and municipal solar.  You can view a PDF of the MassSolar presentation here.

DOER announces small solar set aside in SREC program

January 8, 2016

This Tuesday, DOER announced its intention to exercise its regulatory authority to create a small generation unit set aside in SREC II.  This set aside totals 120 MW.  This set aside is intended to preserve space in the program for solar projects sized 25 kW or less.  The remaining SREC capacity will continue to be allocated to solar projects on a first-come-first-served basis, as before.  Public comments on DOER's proposal will be accepted through January 19th.

DOER's announcement has been included below.

A Lump of Coal - Solar Capped in Unitil Territory

December 28, 2015

The Massachusetts legislature ended the year with a flurry of last minute activity – but ended up taking no action to lift the net metering caps - leaving over 132 MW of solar projects on hold. To put that number into context – that is roughly half of all the solar projects installed in the Commonwealth during the entire year of 2014.

Congress extends federal tax credit for solar

December 21, 2015

Christmas came early for the solar industry on Friday when Congress voted to extend the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC).  The ITC is a 30 percent tax credit for solar systems on residential (under Section 25D) and commercial (under Section 48) properties.

California affirms retail net metering fair payment for solar

December 18, 2015

The California Public Utilities Commission ("CPUC") released a Proposed Decision on Tuesday, which outlines a set of reforms for net metering.  Critically, the Decision, which is the result of a thorough Commission-led stakeholder process, affirms that net metering with full retail credit is the fair and balanced path forward for California energy consumers.

Massachusetts Solar Loan Program Now Open

December 17, 2015

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) are today announced the launch of the long-awaited Mass Solar Loan program.

Thoughts from Paris

December 13, 2015

The historic climate agreement reached at the Paris summit Saturday commits virtually every nation to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

“This agreement, your agreement, is not an end in itself,” French President Francois Hollande said at the closing session of the summit. “It is only the beginning.”

“This didn’t save the planet,” Bill McKibben, the co-founder of 350.org, said of the agreement. “But it may have saved the chance of saving the planet.”

The Energy Revolution: Budgeting Carbon for the Climate

November 30, 2015

Climate change requires urgent action. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the planet has a carbon budget of 1,000 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 starting from now. If we want to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we have to stay within this budget.

Net metering is not a subsidy

November 24, 2015

CONTRARY TO UTILITY ASSERTIONS, net metering is not a subsidy.  It’s mechanism  that allows solar owners to receive credit, similar to rollover minutes on a cell phone plan, for power they feed into the grid.

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