New analysis from the US Solar Energy Industries Association has found inaction on solar in Massachusetts is costing cities and towns millions in lost revenue.
According to a new analysis conducted by Vote Solar and the US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), inaction on raising net metering caps and reforming the Commonwealth’s Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program in Massachusetts has halted construction on more than 500 separate solar projects around the state, valued at a total of $617 million, which in turn is costing cities and towns $3.2 million in annual tax revenues.
Furthermore, according to Vote Solar and the SEIA, without further action by the Massachusetts Legislature, the state can expect the number of stalled or cancelled solar projects, accompanied by resultant financial losses, to increase.
“Solar has become an integral part of the Massachusetts economy and job market,” said Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs for SEIA. “The state is leaving jobs and money on the table and ceding its place in the booming solar energy market to other states.”
“Massachusetts has been burdened with some of the highest electricity rates in the country, and affordable solar offers families, schools, and public agencies a way to manage their bills and invest in our local economy at the same time,” added Sean Garren, northeast regional manager for Vote Solar. “Now the sun is setting on that tremendous solar opportunity. We need quick action from state lawmakers to raise caps on the net metering program and ensure consumers receive full credit for their valuable solar investment.”
Massachusetts’s solar industry has been under growing pressure for over a year since the state’s successful net metering program reached caps in National Grid territory. This has grown worse, as caps have since been reached in Unitil and Eversource Energy territories, “effectively grinding solar growth to a standstill in more than half the state.” Now, not only is there a lack of the low-cost electricity that would have supported 50,000 homes in the state, but tax revenue from those same projects are lacking as well.
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