Massachusetts Program Increases Solar Access For Municipal Light Plant Customers

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Massachusetts’ Baker-Polito administration recently awarded $2.3 million to fund a solar rebate program to support residential and small commercial solar projects for customers in participating municipal light plant (MLP) service territories.

The program is funded by the state’s Department of Energy Resources (DOER) with a 50% cost share between Energy New England (ENE) and the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. (MMWEC), which will administer the program.

“Massachusetts’ nation-leading solar industry has installed over 2,375 MW of solar across all 351 cities and towns,” says Gov. Charlie Baker, R-Mass. “Partnering with municipal light plants for this program will ensure that all residents and businesses have access to initiatives that support the expansion of solar, lowering emissions and energy bills for residents and businesses across the commonwealth.”

Customers that are served by MLPs do not contribute to the costs of the commonwealth’s new solar incentive program – Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) – and are, therefore, ineligible. In the commonwealth’s transition from the solar renewable energy credit programs to SMART, this program provides MLP customers with an opportunity to reduce the costs of installing solar on their property. The program requires MLPs to provide a 50% cost share of the incentives directly to their residents. Depending on which municipality they live in, customers will be able to apply through ENE or MMWEC for rebates up to $1.20/W, capped at 50% of total project costs for projects equal to 25 kW or less. The program began accepting applications on May 20.

The program will be available to 45 towns serviced by MLPs, which are home to over 875,000 residents. To date, there are 2,417 projects amounting to 187 MW of installed solar in the participating MLPs. This program is expected to result in an approximately 30% increase in installed solar capacity of projects under 25 kW in these 45 communities.

More on the program can be found here.

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