As part of its U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge grant work, DOER hired The Cadmus Group to develop community shared solar recommendations for Massachusetts models as well as guidelines for Massachusetts communities (including residents, businesses, and municipal governments).
A Community Shared Solar (CSS) project is a solar photovoltaic (PV) system that provides benefits – such as electricity, net metering credits, and return on investment – to multiple participants. A CSS project is hosted by an entity with a suitable roof or parcel of land and is supported by multiple participants, who invest in the project or purchase the electricity or net metering credits generated. CSS offers an alternative for those who cannot install solar on their own property.
On February 28, 2014, DOER commenced a formal rulemaking process to implement the program. The program defines a community shared solar generation unit and provides the greatest Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) II “factor” for these types of units.
In order to help municipalities determine if a community shared solar project is viable in their community, DOER’s Green Communities Division is providing funds for applicants to hire their own Owner’s Agents. These grants for Owner’s Agents Technical Assistance (OATA) are being made available to ALL Massachusetts municipalities, regional school districts, and water/wastewater districts, regardless of Green Community designation status.
The Massachusetts Residential Solar Loan Program (currently under development) is proposed to extend credit enhancement to homeowners seeking solar loans for CSS ownership shares.
DOER and the MassCEC are issuing an RFI to stakeholders to gather feedback on the main community shared solar challenges. Please check back to view the RFI and provide feedback.