Massachusetts Extends Contracts, Raises Net-Metering Cap

Governor Deval Patrick signs the Massachusetts solar bill. Eric Haynes photo.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick last week signed S. 2395, extending long-term contracts between the utilities and renewable energy companies and raising the cap on net metering to 3 percent for both public and private projects. A company transitioning a coal-fired power plant to natural gas can now qualify for long-term contracts, providing the site is restored.

The new law also

  • Creates a task force to address decommissioning and deconstruction of the Salem Harbor Power Plant.
  • Instructs the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to investigate the need for additional capacity.
  • Extends the commitment of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) money to help communities address the tax shortfall from decommissioned power plants.
  • Enables more municipalities to install solar panels on community landfills.
  • Requires electric companies to file for rate cases every five years and gas companies to file every ten years.
  • Establishes a three-year energy efficiency rebate pilot program for the five largest gas and electric users in each service territory.

For the full story, see the Governor’s Office press release:

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