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Gov. Baker Signs Solar Legislation Into Law

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

 

Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito were joined by a bipartisan group of legislators to sign solar legislation into law to continue the expansion of the Commonwealth's solar industry and establish a long term framework for sustainable solar development in our state. 

The title, An Act Relative to Solar Energy, passed both legislative chambers with overwhelming support and achieves the Baker-Polito Administration's goal of reducing costs to ratepayers while strengthening the state's clean energy economy and progressing towards the greenhouse gas reduction requirements set fourth under the Global Warming Solutions Act. 

“This legislation builds upon the continued success of the Commonwealth’s solar industry and ensures a viable, sustainable and affordable solar market at a lower cost to ratepayers. As our administration continues its balanced approach to diversifying Massachusetts’ energy portfolio, solar development will be an integral component of our state’s clean energy future,” said Governor Charlie Baker. 

The legislation provides immediate relief to the solar industry by raising the public and private net metering caps from 5% of utilities' peak load to 8% and from 4% of utilities' peak load to 7% respectively. 

The legislation also allows the Department of Energy Resources and the Department of Public Utilities to gradually transition the solar industry to a more self sustaining model. 

“This legislation is an important step forward in the Commonwealth’s clean energy future. It represents a balanced approach that will not only allow solar energy to remain a key piece of the state’s energy portfolio, but it will also reduce costs borne by ratepayers by 40%. The compromises reached in this bill recognize the important role that the development of solar energy plays in contributing to the clean energy goals of the commonwealth as well as fostering green jobs and community development while ensuring that incentives are more closely aligned with costs to achieve affordability and sustainability,” said Brian S. Dempsey (D-Haverhill), Chair House Committee on Ways and Means and lead House conferee of the Solar Conference Committee.

Lieutenant Governor Kayrn Polito added, “Cities and towns across the Commonwealth continue to realize the economic and environmental benefits of solar development. The legislation signed into law will preserve the assistance provided to municipalities seeking to deploy solar energy, while positioning Massachusetts to meet our state’s goals under the Global Warming Solutions Act.”

 

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