Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program

Massachusetts' solar initiative

Table of Contents

Open Proceedings

Please visit the following pages for the most up-to-date information on open SMART proceedings:

D.P.U. 20-145 SMART Tariff Notice of Filing

D.P.U. 20-145 Notice II and Order - August 2021

D.P.U. 20-145 Notice II and Extended Request for Public Comment and Order - September 2021

D.P.U. 20-145 Motion for Reconsideration and Clarification - January 2022

Regulation & General Information

The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program is DOER's incentive program established to support the development of solar in Massachusetts. The DOER regulation in 225 CMR 20.00 sets the regulatory framework for the program. The tariff-based incentive is paid directly by the utility company to the system owner, following the approval of the application by the Solar Program Administrator and DOER.

The SMART Program is a 3,200 MW declining block incentive program. Eligible projects must be interconnected by one of three investor owned utility companies in Massachusetts: Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil. Each utility has established blocks that decline in incentive rates between each block.

 

Information on the Program Design and Launch can be found in the following presentation:

SMART Program Design and Launch

Notice: Declining Incentive Rates

Due to higher electricity rates and the declining incentive structure of the SMART program, some applications may receive an incentive payment rate of $0.00. Further information on which blocks this is occurring in is available HERE.  In these instances, the Department advises solar installers work with their customers to evaluate the benefits of participating directly in the RPS market.

 

Notice: Applicants and Owners Notified of Non-Compliance

 Audit Pertaining to Consumer Protection - Required Net Savings for Low Income Customers

DOER undertook an audit of Low-Income Solar Tariff Generation Units.  The Department selected projects at random and reviewed applications from 15 Applicants. The final audit reports determined 8 applicants to be in compliance and 7 to have instances of non-compliance. Of the 7 companies with non-compliant applications, 2 companies were shown to have 3 or more instances of non-compliance resulting in the applicants being suspended from submitting applications to the SMART program for 12 months per Section 4 of the Guideline on SMART Consumer Protection. Below is the list of companies with instances of non-compliance:

Entities Suspended:

  • Palmetto Solar
  • Vision Solar

Entities with Warnings:

  • Bright Planet Solar
  • Devlin Contracting
  • Freedom Forever
  • Isaksen Solar
  • Trinity Solar

 

Application Website

CLEAResult was selected by the three participating electric distribution companies, Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil, to be the Solar Program Administrator. As the Solar Program Administrator, CLEAResult will review all applications submitted, and recommend approval of the application to DOER.

SMART Application Webinar Video

CLEAResult developed a program website with many program details and the link to the application. In addition, the website contains up to date information on remaining block capacity for each utility service territory. For more information, please visit the website at:

SMART Program Application Website

Program Guidelines

Application Process and Base Compensation Rates

The SMART application process, and how eligible Solar Tariff Generation Units are issued Statements of Qualification, can be found in the following Guideline. Updated September 2021. 

Statement of Qualification Reservation Period Guideline

Solar Tariff Generation Units are subject to certain siting rules, and are categorized based on the land use of the location and installation type. The following Guideline clarifies the categorization of projects based on siting, as well as how many projects may be qualified on a parcel or contiguous parcels. Updated September 2021. 

Land Use, Siting, and Project Segmentation Guideline

Capacity Block Base Compensation Rates were set based on the results of the initial competitive procurement run in late 2017. The Base Compensation Rate for each Block can be found in the following Guideline. Updated January 2022. 

Capacity Block, Base Compensation Rate, and Compensation Rate Adder Guideline

In some instances, qualified projects may need to be assigned a blended rate. DOER has created a Guideline outlining the instances where this may be required, and how the rate will be calculated. Updated October 2020. 

Guideline on Establishing SMART Compensation Rates

DOER has created a Value of Energy and Incentive Calculator for Behind-the-Meter facilities. This calculator is intended to be a practical tool to calculate the Value of Energy and fixed incentive compensation rate for behind-the-meter systems. The calculation is based on project type, size, distribution company service territory, customer rate class, and capacity block. This workbook does not necessarily reflect the final tariff value a system will be qualified for, but is meant to be a tool to understand and estimate the value that a particular customer may receive under different scenarios. 

NOTE:  The BTM VOE workbook has incorporated the VOE for AOBC and Non-Net Metering projects. Currently, DOER and the Electric Distribution Companies continue to make necessary adjustments to the program for projects to apply for BTM AOBC or Non-Net Metering and will  provide more information soon.  

2022 BTM Value of Energy Workbook

The incentive payment effective date varies based on the Electric Distribution Company. The Electric Distribution Companies and DOER have created the following document to provide additional guidance. Updated April 2022. 

SMART Incentive Payment Effective Dates

DOER has created a guideline to provide guidance on metering requirements for SMART qualified Solar Tariff Generation Units as well as paired Energy Shared Storage systems. 

Energy Storage and Metering Guideline

Guidelines on Eligibility for SMART Adders

Projects seeking the Energy Storage Adder can use the following Guideline to review eligibility criteria, and can use the Energy Storage Adder Calculator as a tool to estimate the adder value a certain project may be eligible for. Updated September 2021. 

Energy Storage Guideline

Energy Storage Adder Calculator

Energy Storage System Performance Data Template

ESS Compliance Template 2021

Projects seeking the Agricultural Solar Tariff Generation Unit (ASTGU) Adder must apply for a predetermination letter. In preparing your ASTGU pre-determination form, it is highly recommended that you review the information and fact sheets available on the UMass Clean Energy Extension (CEE) website and contact the Extension with any questions regarding this information. Before submitting your final pre-determination form to DOER, submit a draft version of the form to CEE, at energyextension@umass.edu. CEE will review the document with Agricultural Extension staff, and respond to the applicant with any recommendations or comments regarding the proposed within 10 days. Once CEE has reviewed the form, send the completed form to DOER at DOER.SMART@mass.gov. DOER will review all requests with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.

The historic development of the Guideline Regarding the Definition of Agricultural Solar Tariff Generation Units, including highlights of changes made to the guideline can be reviewed HERE. The Definition of Agricultural Solar Tariff Generation Units Guideline was updated April 2022.

Application for an ASTGU Predetermination Letter

ASTGU Shading Analysis Tool 

Webinar explaining how to use Shading Analysis Tool

Definition of Agricultural Solar Tariff Generation Units Guideline

ASTGU Annual Report Template

Projects seeking the Brownfield Generation Unit Adder must apply for a predetermination letter from DOER at DOER.SMART@mass.gov. DOER will review all requests with the Department of Environmental Protection; the following provides guidance on the process for obtaining a letter. Updated May 2020.

Definition of Brownfield Guideline

Solar Tariff Generation Units seeking the Low Income Property Adder, the Low Income Community Shared Solar Adder, or are 25kW or less and low income eligible can find eligibility criteria in the following Guideline. Updated September 2021. 

Low Income Generation Units Guideline

Low Income Community Shared and Community Shared Solar Tariff Generation Units seeking to participate through a Municipal Aggregation or an Electric Distribution Company program can find additional requirements in the following Guideline. Updated September 2021.

Guideline Regarding Alternative Programs for Community Shared Solar Tariff Generation Units and Low Income Community Shared Solar Tariff Generation Units

Requests for Extensions and Exceptions

Information on how to submit a request for an exception or an extension under the SMART Program.

Requests for Extensions and Exceptions

Consumer Protection & Disclosure Forms

Small System Customer Disclosure Forms must be submitted in the initial Statement of Qualification Application. The Community Solar Customer Disclosure Form must be submitted when seeking the Community Shared Solar or Low Income Community Shared Solar Adders in the final Statement of Qualification claim, or when a project is operational and seeking final approval and enrolling in the tariff. Each participant in a single project must sign a Community Shared Solar Customer Disclosure Form. Updated June 2020.

Community Solar Customer Disclosure Form

Small System Customer Disclosure Form (Third-party Ownership)

Small System Customer Disclosure Form (Direct Ownership)

DOER has created the following Guideline to provide further information on the consumer protection requirements that must be provided by the Owner or Authorized Agent of SMART STGU to customers regarding costs and contract terms. It also details the auditing and enforcement processes DOER will conduct of SMART Statement of Qualification applications and applicants. Updated October 2020.

Guideline on SMART Consumer Protection

Alternative On-bill Credits

Eligible SMART projects that are interconnected as standalone systems, meaning they are not serving on site load behind the retail service meter, may receive energy compensation through Alternative On-bill Credits. The Alternative On-bill Credit was created with the SMART program to allow systems that are unable to receive net metering credits to be able to assign bill credits to other customer accounts, in the same way net metering credits can be used to virtually net meter. The Alternative On-bill Credit is unique to the SMART program, and does not have the same rules that apply to eligible net metered facilities. To answer some frequently asked questions about the Alternative On-bill Credit mechanism, DOER has created the following Guidance. 

Alternative On-Bill Credit FAQ

Metering Requirements

Information on utility specific metering requirements can be found on the SMART Program Resources webpage under Interconnection and Metering Information.

Program Data

Information on Approved, Qualified, and Under Review applications.

General Information | Equipment Data

Sample Statements of Qualification

Qualified Solar Tariff Generation Units will be given a Statement of Qualification, demonstrating eligibility to participate in the SMART program. 

Sample Behind the Meter Statements of Qualification:

BTM Sample SQ (Small)

BTM Sample SQ (Large)

Sample Standalone Statements of Qualification:

Standalone Sample SQ (Small)

Standalone Sample SQ (Large)

Contact Information

Contact DOER at:

DOER.SMART@mass.gov

Contact CLEAResult at:

MA.SMART@clearesult.com

Sign up for SMART Program Updates

DOER Email Lists

 

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