As promised, Gov. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., has signed into law a bill to lift New Hampshire’s cap on net energy metering (NEM), a key incentive for rooftop solar.
The bill, H.B.1116, passed in the state House of Representatives in March and in the Senate in early April. The legislation came after New Hampshire utilities started reaching their allocated NEM amounts, which local solar companies said hindered progress. Before this legislation, the statewide NEM limit was 50 MW. H.B.1116 now increases that cap to 100 MW and orders state utility regulators to begin exploring alternative rate structures for NEM.
Hassan, who has been an outspoken supporter of the legislation, says, “Solar and other small-scale clean energy resources are critical to New Hampshire’s growing clean energy economy, which is creating good-paying, high-quality jobs, spurring economic development and helping combat climate change.”
She continues, “Lifting the cap on net metering is essential to the continued success of New Hampshire’s solar industry, and I am proud to sign this bipartisan bill so that our clean energy industry can continue to grow and thrive.”
Daniel Clapp, New Hampshire branch manager of New England solar installer ReVision Energy, comments, “Solar policy in New Hampshire is now on a more secure foundation.”
“Over the last five years, our Brentwood office has grown from a handful of employees to over 50, thanks to the rapidly declining costs of solar technology and growing consumer demand for fixed energy prices from clean-tech sources,” says Clapp. “We look forward to continued growth in the Granite State.”
Although the Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) calls New Hampshire’s NEM cap “arbitrary,” the group has applauded Hassan and says the legislation will ensure “the state’s solar market can reopen in the near term.”
“We commend Governor Hassan’s support for net metering, continued energy choice and solar job growth in New Hampshire,” says Susan Glick, spokesperson for TASC and senior manager of public policy at Sunrun. “Now, the [New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission] must follow through with a transparent study process to sustain stable policy and long-term solar growth.”