The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has thrown its weight behind bills in the Massachusetts legislature that would help achieve Governor Deval Patrick’s goal of 1.6GW of solar energy by 2020.
An Act Relative to Net Metering, as the bill is called in both houses, would
establish a commission to research and review the viability of raising the net
metering cap, and alternative strategies to facilitate public and private distributed
SEIA contends the current net metering cap limits development and impedes
the state’s ability to meet its goals. The cap consists of two components - one
for public projects and one for private projects in each utility service
territory. The public cap for most of the Commonwealth has already been
reached, preventing many cities and towns from participating in the program.
The state has about 464MW of installed
solar generation capacity, according to SEIA, ranking it fifth among US states
after California, Arizona, New Jersey and North Carolina.
Massachusetts has about 286 solar companies in the value chain, employing
8,400 people. In 2013, $476 million was invested in Massachusetts to install
solar on homes and businesses, a 52% increase over the previous year.
Patrick, who took office in January 2007, has signed various bills creating
incentives and requirements for utilities to boost solar energy purchases.
Installed solar capacity then was 3MW.