Solar power's benefits outweigh its costs

August 11, 2015

MASSACHUSETTS IS A LEADER in solar power and most experts will tell you that has been a good thing for homeowners, businesses, low income communities, and everyone else who pays for electricity in the state. But unless the Legislature acts soon to preserve and expand the “net metering” caps and the other vital policies that got us here, the cost savings that all of us are enjoying will disappear.

Solar projects on hold thanks to net metering caps

August 10, 2015

As MassSolar has noted on more than one occasion, net metering caps have stalled solar projects in 171 communities across the Commonwealth.  Stalled projects range from low income and community shared solar to municipal and commerical solar projects.  Below is a list of some of the projects currently on hold.  

Oxford Community Solar Park

Keep solar's future bright

August 5, 2015

The sun will soon set on solar job creation in Massachusetts if lawmakers don't turn up the heat.

House adjourns for summer without raising caps. What's next for solar?

August 4, 2015

The last two weeks have been remarkably successful weeks for building momentum across the Commonwealth and on Beacon Hill for lifting the net metering caps. First Senator Downing introduced legislation to lift the net metering caps and the Senate passed that legislation unanimously, with bipartisan support coming from the Minority Leader, Bruce Tarr. 

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.


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