Please visit the following pages for the most up-to-date information on open SMART proceedings:
D.P.U. 20-145 Notice II and Order - August 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:
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:
- Palmetto Solar
- Vision Solar
Entities with Warnings:
- Bright Planet Solar
- Devlin Contracting
- Freedom Forever
- Isaksen Solar
- Trinity Solar
Audit Pertaining to Accuracy of Community Shared Solar Documentation for Clearway Energy Group
DOER undertook an audit to review the consistency across community solar related documentation. In reviewing customer contracts, Customer Disclosure forms, and AOBC forms, the Department determined that there were two areas of non-compliance. Pursuant to 225 CMR 20.06(1)(h)(1), there was non-compliance due to allocating bill credits in excess of 25 kW to more than two entities on two projects. Pursuant to 225 CMR 20.06(1)(m), there was non-compliance due to discrepancies between the Customer Disclosure forms and the customer contracts on two projects. The Department has issued 2 warnings of non-compliance to Clearway pursuant to Section 4 of the Guideline on SMART Consumer Protection.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com. 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.
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.
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 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.
Requests for Extensions and Exceptions
Information on how to submit a request for an exception or an extension under the SMART Program.
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.
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.
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.
Information on utility specific metering requirements can be found on the SMART Program Resources webpage under Interconnection and Metering Information.
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:
Sample Standalone Statements of Qualification: