In early August, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a new bill called the “Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind.” This new bill includes key legislation around relaxed net metering for residential solar projects and incentives for pollinator-friendly community solar and commercial and industrial projects. Additionally, the bill puts into place a new commission whose goal will be to find ways to improve the state’s distribution grid planning.
Offshore wind focus
The new law is designed to expand the state’s offshore wind industry to provide equitable economic and environmental benefits distribution. One of the most significant changes in the bill is related to who oversees the selection process of new wind projects in the state. Previously investor-owned utilities played a role in helping to select winning bids for new offshore wind projects—that power is now solely in the hands of the Department of Energy Resources and an independent evaluator. The goal is to ensure the project does the best job possible to provide benefits across the state for balanced and equitable economic development.
A huge win for solar
Before the passing of the new bill, property owners could only have one solar installation that qualified for net metering. However, under the new law, the limit of projects a property owner can have tied to net metering has not only gone away, it also increased the net metering solar compensation from 10 kilowatts to 25 kilowatts.
In addition to the changes in net metering for solar, the law also promotes projects that benefit the environment by offering new incentives for solar installations that integrate pollinator-friendly plants into the design. Additionally, the bill now makes it easier for farmers to incorporate solar installations into areas where they grow food and raise livestock.
Promotes electric vehicles
The new law also does much to promote electric vehicles and support their use across the state. This includes increased rebates for EVs and trade-in incentives for consumers who make the switch from gas to electric powered vehicles. It also places a single state council in charge of overseeing the deployment of public EV charging stations.
To learn more about how you can switch to environmentally friendly, clean, renewable solar energy and benefit from Massachusetts’s new law, contact an All Energy Solar representative.