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Governor Baker signs bill lifting solar cap to 4%, and lowering Net Metering Rates.

Allison Friedman MA, United States 0 Ratings 99 Discussions 131 Group posts

Posted by: Allison Friedman // Rate It Green Admin

Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a compromise bill lifting Massachusetts' solar net metering cap and lowering remuneration rates for large-scale systems. The states net metering cap will increase by 3% for public and private installations. The net metering rate for large-scale distributed solar installations will decrease from the retail rate of electricity to a level close to the wholesale rate. Additionally, utilities will be allowed to charge a minimum bill to cover their fixed costs. These fees will help assuage complaints that solar customers aren't paying their fair share to maintain the grid.

In the past, net metering projects were capped at 4% of the utility's load for private projects and 5% for municipal and government projects. The new bill will raise the caps to 7% for private projects and 8% for public projects.

Large-scale distributed solar projects — such as community solar arrays or big installations for C&I customers — will see their net metering rate fall to near the wholesale rate of electricity after a 1,600 MW goal is reached.

This bill starts to address some immediate issues, as the existing cap had been reached and some projects were stalling and still others were even canceled, but it's a compromise and not a long term solution to net metering concerns. Many wonder why there is a cap at all - while utilities seem to complain that solar owners aren't paying for the services they do receive from the grid. Perhaps if this issue is resolved, we can work towards encouraging as much solar energy as possible.

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