Patrick Administration Launches Next Chapter of Solar in Massachusetts
New regulations aim to reach 1,600 MW by 2020
BOSTON – Tuesday, May 13, 2014 – The Patrick Administration today announced that it is accepting applications for the second phase of the Commonwealth’s RPS Solar Carve-Out Program, referred to as SREC-II. The program is designed to meet Governor Deval Patrick’s goal of reaching 1,600 megawatts of installed solar capacity by 2020.
“I am proud of the work we have done together to make Massachusetts a leader in energy efficiency, renewable energy and emissions,” said Governor Patrick. “This program will allow the solar industry in Massachusetts to continue to flourish and make solar energy more accessible for businesses, municipalities and homeowners across the Commonwealth.”
The new program aims to ensure steady annual growth, control ratepayer costs and encourage ground-mounted solar projects on landfill and brownfield sites and residential rooftop solar.
“The solar industry in Massachusetts has seen tremendous success since Governor Patrick took office in 2007,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. “There is now more than 140 times the amount of installed solar than there was in 2007 and SREC-II will continue our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create clean energy jobs and make Massachusetts more energy independent.”
“We worked successfully, with all stakeholders at the table, to develop a program that will continue the public’s adoption of solar power and the steady growth of the solar industry,” said Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “I’m proud of the open and inclusive process that led to these regulations.”
Incentives from the first phase of the SREC program led to the broad adoption of solar across businesses, homes and institutions and helped to grow the amount of solar from 3 megawatts installed when Governor Patrick first took office to 496 megawatts today. In 2013, Massachusetts met Governor Patrick’s initial goal of 250 megawatts four years early. Currently, 349 of the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns have at least one solar installation.
In January, the Patrick Administration announced the creation of a residential solar loan program, funded with $30 million of Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP). DOER is currently working with the Massachusetts Bankers Association and other stakeholders to develop the program, expected to launch in late summer or fall 2014 to complement SREC-II. ACP funds are paid by electric retail suppliers if they have insufficient Renewable or Alternative Energy Certificates to meet their compliance obligations under the Renewable and Alternative Portfolio Standard programs.
"This program extends Massachusetts’ leadership in solar energy as well as our efforts to address climate change. It further illustrates that doing the right thing for the environment is also the right thing to do economically," said Senator Benjamin B. Downing, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy.
“I congratulate the Patrick Administration for its successful and ongoing efforts promoting solar while controlling ratepayer impacts,” said Representative John D. Keenan, House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. “As a solar owner, I know firsthand how solar development significantly benefits our economy and environment.”
The Patrick Administration’s aggressive clean energy initiatives have made Massachusetts a leader in energy efficiency, renewable energy and emissions reductions. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has named Massachusetts number one for three years running. The clean energy revolution is yielding economic benefits as well, with 11.8 percent job growth in the last year and 24 percent growth in the last two years; nearly 80,000 people are employed in the clean tech industry in Massachusetts.
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