Solar Leaders Celebrate Solar Growth as Massachusetts Extends Solar Program
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced today plans to extend the Commonwealth’s successful Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC 2) program further into 2017 along with a new proposal for a long-term replacement of the program. Since its inception, the SREC 2 program has led Massachusetts to more than 1,600 megawatts of solar development and supported thousands of local jobs, economic investments and a healthier environment for Bay State families and businesses. Solar associations, businesses, non-profits and supporters celebrated the move to address the gap between the SREC 2 program and its successor and are looking forward to further work to review the details and inform the final rules. Below are statements from advocates following the announcement.
“Solar is delivering economic and environmental benefits to Massachusetts, with tens of thousands of solar jobs, millions of dollars in energy savings and significant reductions in our air and water pollution,” said Nathan Phelps, Program Manager of Distributed Generation Regulatory Policy at Vote Solar. “The Commonwealth is on the path to a bright solar future, and we applaud the Baker Administration for seeking to continue Massachusetts’ leadership with this extension.”
“Today, the Baker Administration built a much-needed bridge between the end of the current solar incentive program and the beginning of the new one,” said Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State Affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “This action will allow new solar projects to move forward, creating jobs, valuable investment dollars, and a well-deserved reputation for Massachusetts as one of America’s top solar states. SEIA is looking forward to working with state leaders to finalize the details of both the extension plan and the new incentive program.”
“We commend the Baker Administration’s recognition of the need for continuity and certainty to attract investment and ensure continued solar development in the Commonwealth. We look forward to working with DOER as it finalizes the details of its proposal to ensure the new program provides a strong policy framework for solar energy,” said NECEC President Peter Rothstein. “With a sustainable solar policy framework, more and more businesses, municipalities, and residents will find the value and opportunity to build solar projects that will preserve local jobs and provide economic, energy and environmental benefits to the Commonwealth.”
“Community shared solar projects are saving consumers money while providing clean, local power in dozens of towns from Hadley to Haverhill,” said Coalition for Community Solar Access Executive Director Jeff Cramer. “We appreciate the Baker Administration’s attention to maintaining a stable businesses environment, however this proposal will require some adjustments to ensure it works for community solar, which is critical for expanding access to solar to more customers, even if they don’t have a sunny roof.”
“Over the years, Massachusetts has done a marvelous job encouraging an emerging solar industry, creating thousands of jobs, and helping to put clean energy resources into the hands of mainstream people and local businesses,” said Bill Stillinger, President of the Solar Energy Business Association of New England (SEBANE). “An SREC extension will avoid disruption and we look forward to working on our state’s progress toward a clean energy future.”
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Vote Solar is a non-profit organization working to foster economic development and energy independence by bringing solar energy to the mainstream nationwide. Learn more at www.votesolar.org
Celebrating its 43rd anniversary in 2017, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.
About the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA): Founded in February 2016, CCSA is a business-led trade organization that works to expand access to clean, local, affordable energy nationwide through community solar. Community solar refers to local solar facilities shared by individual community members, who receive credits on their electricity bills for their portion of the power produced. Community solar projects provide American homeowners, renters and businesses access to the benefits of solar energy generation unconstrained by the physical attributes of their home or business, like roof space, shading, or whether or not they own their residence or building. These programs can also expand access to solar energy to low-income households. For more information on CCSA, visit the website at www.communitysolaraccess.org, like the Coalition on Facebook at www.facebook.com/communitysolaraccess and follow the Coalition on Twitter at @solaraccess.
NECEC (Northeast Clean Energy Council & NECEC Institute) is the premier voice of businesses building a world-class clean energy hub in the Northeast, helping clean energy companies start, scale and succeed with our unique business, innovation and policy leadership. NECEC includes the Northeast Clean Energy Council (a nonprofit business member organization), and NECEC Institute (a nonprofit focused on industry research, innovation, policy development and communications initiatives). NECEC brings together business leaders and key stakeholders to engage in influential policy discussions and business initiatives while building connections that propel the clean energy industry forward.