The New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed H.B.1116, a bill that would double the state’s current net energy metering (NEM) cap from 50 MW to 100 MW. Gov. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., praises the legislation and says lifting the cap is “essential” in order to continue supporting the state’s solar industry.
State legislators have been working to raise the cap ever since all of the applicable New Hampshire utilities started reaching their allocated amounts. Local solar installers have warned that a fix is necessary, with one company, SunRay Solar, saying it was “forced” to curtail its operations and lay off nine employees after Eversource, the state’s largest energy provider, hit its limit in January.
Established in 2010, the current NEM cap stands at 50 MW, and although the NEM program covers other renewable resources, rooftop solar project owners account for the vast majority of participants.
Not long after Eversource reached its limit in January, the state Senate passed S.B.333, a bill that would increase the NEM cap to 75 MW. The House’s H.B.1116 originally called for a similar 25 MW increase, but lawmakers eventually added an amendment to lift the cap to 100 MW instead.
H.B.1116 now goes to the Senate for consideration.
In response to the House vote, Hassan says in a statement, “The solar industry is a critical part of our growing clean energy economy in New Hampshire, which recently ranked New Hampshire as one of the top five states for renewable energy and is creating good-paying, high-quality jobs, spurring economic development and helping combat climate change.”
She adds, “Lifting the cap on net metering is essential to the continued success of New Hampshire’s solar industry, and I applaud the House for its bipartisan vote to pass this critical measure. The Senate has already supported this legislation, and I urge them to concur with the version passed by the House and send this bill to my desk as quickly as possible so that we can lift the cap on net metering.”