May 2016

Solar power could deliver $400 billion in environmental and public health benefits

May 22, 2016

Solar power could deliver $400 billion in environmental and public health benefits in the United States by 2050, according to a study from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).  

Solar is already delivering annual benefits of $1.5 billion. Those benefits come in the form of:

Eldridge: Restore Retail Net Metering for Low-Income and Community Solar

May 20, 2016

Senator Eldridge introduced an amendment to the Senate budget calling for restoring retail NM credit value to community and low-income solar, and providing an additional lift in the private caps. 

Please thank Senator Eldridge for his leadership, and ask your own senator to support the amendment.

Climate pollution from New England power plants on the rise

May 18, 2016

Bad news for efforts to combate climate change emissions in the power sector.  For the first time in five years, power plants across New England are producing more carbon dioxide emissions.  This is a major setback to Massachusetts’ legally mandated efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The primary reason for the increase in emissions is the shuttering of the region's nuclear power plants, which has increased reliance on fossil fuel power stations.  

Net Metering Caps Lifted and Hit on the same day

May 16, 2016

The DPU finally raised the net metering caps 3% last week, which was required by the solar legislation passed over a month ago. 

At the time the solar legislation was passed, many in the Senate and House thought the net metering cap increase would be enough to last 9 months to a year. 

DPU inaction means caps now hit across Massachusetts

May 6, 2016

The legislature has raised net metering caps but the DPU has yet to act.  As a result, the net metering caps have now been hit across all of Massachusetts, except for Nantucket.  This morning, MassACA reports that there are 241 MW of solar projects on hold across all the IOU territories. That means every territory except for Nantucket has projects on hold. 

DPU's Delay of the Net Metering Cap Increases

May 4, 2016
Governor Baker signed into law Chapter 75 of the Acts of 2016 on April 11, 2016.  The act included an emergency preamble that was adopted through separate, unanimous votes of the members present and voting in both the House and Senate on April 7th. This was confirmed through Clerks' offices and the journals of both houses.

Sections 5 & 6 of the Act, which clearly specify that the net metering capacity limits should be raised, should have taken immediate effect on April 11, 2016.