Massachusetts is accepting applications for the second phase of the commonwealth's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) program, commonly referred to as SREC II. The solar carve-out is intended to meet Gov. Deval Patrick's goal of reaching 1.6 GW of installed solar capacity by 2020.
In January, the Patrick Administration announced the creation of a residential solar loan program, funded with $30 million of alternative compliance payments (ACP). ACP funds are paid by electric retail suppliers if they have insufficient renewable or alternative energy certificates to meet their compliance obligations under the RPS and alternative portfolio standard programs.
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 Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources is working with the Massachusetts Bankers Association and other stakeholders to develop the program, expected to launch later this year.
Incentives from the first phase of the SREC program are credited with extending the adoption of solar power in Massachusetts and helped to grow the amount of solar from 3 MW installed when Patrick first took office to 496 MW currently. In 2013, Patrick's initial goal of 250 MW was met four years early.