The Massachusetts legislature passed a virtual net metering bill in 2008 as part of the Massachusetts Green Communities Act (SB 2768). The bill enables “neighborhood net metering,” or virtual net metering between customers who have “an ownership interest” in the renewable energy facility and are located in the same neighborhood as the facility. The facility may generate up to two megawatts of power and must have at least 10 subscribers. Solar, agricultural, and wind technologies are included in the virtual net metering policy.
Though the virtual net metering bill passed in 2008, the Massachusetts program did not take off until 2014 — the first year for the Solar Carve-Out II Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC II). Community solar gardens qualify for one of two Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources programs: RPS Solar Carve-out II and Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART). SMART, the newer program, replaces RPS Solar Carve-out II. The Massachusetts program addresses low-income subscriber access through the SMART incentive.
See Massachusetts’s program progress in our National Community Solar Programs Tracker.
Check back soon for more detail about the Massachusetts community solar program.
For more on solar in Massachusetts, check out these ILSR resources:
- A Massachusetts Town Realizes a Community Vision to Transition from Coal to Sol – Episode 73 of Local Energy Rules Podcast (2019)
- The New 1,600 MW Solar Program for Massachusetts Really is SMART (2017)
- A Massachusetts Co-op Makes a Powerful Vintage (2016)
Learn more about community solar in one of these ILSR reports:
|Designing Community Solar Programs that Promote Racial and Economic Equity|
|Minnesota’s Solar Gardens: the Status and Benefits of Community Solar|
|Beyond Sharing — How Communities Can Take Ownership of Renewable Power|
For podcasts, videos, and more, see ILSR’s community renewable energy archive.
Featured photo credit: National Renewable Energy Lab on Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)