NECEC Thanks Baker Administration for Filing Legislation to Address Solar Net Metering Cap

Legislation Must be Revised to Support Long-Term Solar Market

NECEC (New England Clean Energy Council) issued the following statement regarding An Act Relative to a Long-Term, Sustainable Solar Industry, filed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker:

“NECEC is pleased to see the Baker Administration move forward with a legislative proposal to raise the net metering caps and allow the solar industry to move forward in the near term,” said NECEC President Peter Rothstein. “However, elements of this legislation that would take effect after the Commonwealth reaches 1600 megawatts of solar would be detrimental to the Commonwealth’s vibrant solar industry and will translate to loss of jobs, energy diversity and energy security for customers in Massachusetts.”

NECEC opposes the provision that would change the net metering credit rate from retail rate to wholesale rate after the Commonwealth installs 1600 megawatts of solar energy without a process that considers the benefits and costs of solar. NECEC urges the Legislature to approve legislation that reflects the consensus of the Net Metering and Solar Task Force, which recommended that the Commonwealth conduct a comprehensive and transparent solar benefit/cost study, with stakeholder input, to determine the value and impact of solar in Massachusetts. 

“As written, this legislation does not provide a path to a long-term sustainable solar industry that reduces costs and benefits customers. We look forward to working with the Baker Administration, the Legislature and other solar stakeholders to ensure legislation both addresses the near term problem of a stalled solar market in much of the state, and creates a truly sustainable solar policy that allows us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stabilize energy costs for Massachusetts consumers.”

NECEC supports the net metering and solar policies included in SB 1979, which passed the Massachusetts Senate unanimously with strong bipartisan support on July 23, 2015. In order to keep solar growing and delivering economic and environmental benefits in the Commonwealth, the House must pass legislation that includes the same policies to immediately lift or suspend the caps on net metering, and ensure that all Massachusetts families and businesses will have the opportunity to choose solar energy through a fair and open marketplace. Additionally, legislation should include policies that properly compensate solar customers and utilities for the services they provide to our electric grid.

About NECEC (New England Clean Energy Council and NECEC Institute) NECEC is a regional non-profit clean energy business, policy and innovation organization whose mission is to accelerate the region’s clean energy economy to global leadership by building an active community of stakeholders and a world-class cluster of companies. NECEC works with clean energy businesses and entrepreneurs, policymakers and other stakeholders in the clean energy sector in New England and the Northeast through programs and initiatives that advance clean energy markets and help clean energy businesses access the resources they need to grow.

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