Massachusetts Bill to Remove NEM Cap

on July 31, 2014 at 10:00 AM

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Massachusetts’ HB 4185 would boost solar industry growth by removing net metering caps and by creating a declining block solar incentive program.

On July 24, 2014, a group of 54 Massachusetts-based companies sent a letter to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in support of HB 4185 – An Act Relative to Net Metering and Solar Power.  The letter emphasized that HB 4185 would remove net energy metering (NEM) capacity limits, facilitating a long-term solution to promote the Massachusetts solar industry, which has repeatedly reached NEM caps more quickly than expected.

HB 4185 – a compromise among renewable energy developers, utilities, and policymakers – would replace the market-based Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program with a utility-controlled declining block Solar Incentive Program through a tariff mechanism, taking effect July 2015.  The new program would facilitate a flat and predictable incentive stream, thereby reducing risks associated with the current incentive delivery mechanism.  It would be structured to achieve a total of 1,600 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities interconnected to the distribution system by 2020.  Solar PV facilities participating in the program would be eligible for the state renewable energy portfolio standard program.


Installed Solar Capacity in Massachusetts (

To address rate design concerns, HB 4185 would require all electricity system customers to contribute to the distribution system by instituting a minimum monthly charge determined by the Department of Public Utilities.  The legislation would maintain virtual metering – while reducing virtual metering credit sizes – to recognize the distribution grid’s role in enabling solar projects.

Originally published by EnerKnol.

Founded in 2011, EnerKnol provides U.S. energy policy research and data services to support investment decisions across all sectors of the energy industry. Headquartered in New York City, EnerKnol is proud to be a NYC ACRE company.