Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target “SMART” Incentive
Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) is a tariff-based incentive program that replaces SREC II.
Like the SREC program, the SMART program is based on the power produced by your system. However, the program is is implemented by your utility who will will separately meter and monitor the production of your system.
If you are already in the SREC program, you will remain in the program, with no changes to your SREC account.
For systems 25 kW and less the term is 10 years and for systems over 25 kW the term is 20 years. The program will be rolled out in blocks which diminish in value slightly going forward. Larger systems are ordered in the queue by the date of their interconnection service agreement (ISA) and smaller systems by their contract date.
Based on the kWh of solar power produced, payments will be issued monthly and the utility will receive the RECs (renewable energy credits).
This new SMART incentive program has been developed to incentivize an additional 1.6 GW of solar PV in the state, which is expected to replace the current SREC II production based incentive program.
The DOER believes that a tariff-based incentive program would be best mechanism to continue supporting solar at the lowest cost to ratepayers. The new policy is based on a declining block grant incentive system, to be paid out on the basis of energy delivered.
Under the final tariff design there are different rates for projects of different scales up to 5 MW per site. Incentives will be provided for 10-20 years, with varied values depending on ownership, system size and location. The tariff will consist of 8 blocks, with tariff values decreasing 5% in each subsequent block. A certain portion of each block will most likely be set aside for smaller projects as well.
The recovery of costs will be made through a fixed charge to all customers in the network. But unlike many standard offer or feed-in tariff policies the incentive will be paid “net of energy value”, which would allow the program to work in conjunction with net metered systems. There is an additional incentive of $.05 per kWh if plant owners decide to opt out of the net metering program for systems under 25 kW,
Basic Features of New Program are as follows:
• 1,600 MW AC declining block program
• Applies to all electric distribution companies
• 10 or 20-years fixed price term depending on project capacity (10-year for small, 20-years for large)
• Compensation structure differentiated between sized-to-load and standalone systems
• Base compensation rates set according to project size
• Adders based on location, and those that provide unique benefits, including community solar, low-income, public, and energy storage projects
• Base compensation rates decline by set percentages in each block following Block 1
• Maximum project size of 5 MW per parcel.
For more detailed information on Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Final Program Design please visit MA Smart Solar