Update 12/30/2021: The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities issued an order expanding the SMART program from 1,600 to 3,200 MW of solar capacity, allowing dozens of solar projects to move forward. The order will take effect on January 14, 2022, when the Commonwealth’s utilities file their compliance documents.
Last week, State Rep. Jeffrey Roy sent a letter to Department of Public Utilities (DPU) Commissioner Nelson urging him to quickly implement the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program. Swift action is needed for Massachusetts to make progress toward its ambitious 2030 clean energy goals.
However, it has been over eighteen months since the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) finalized regulations to expand the program, and the inaction of the Department of Public Utilities on multiple non-controversial issues has failed to implement the program, wasting time needed to reach the goals.
SEIA joined Rep. Roy in urging the Commissioner and the Department of Public Utilities to immediately implement the incentive program and rapidly increase solar installations in the state.
“Massachusetts policymakers have already decided to expand the program and provided the regulations to do so,” said David Gahl, senior director of policy, East, for SEIA. “More than 100 MW of solar capacity have yet to be added to the grid due to the inaction and feet-dragging of the Department of Public Utilities. Delays on the implementation of the SMART program inhibit progress toward Massachusetts’ 2030 carbon emissions reduction goals.”
While Massachusetts is projected to add over 1.8 gigawatts of solar energy over the next five years, delaying the SMART Program incentives could slow solar installations and jeopardize progress on the state’s climate goals, as 2030 quickly approaches.
“To the Department of Public Utilities: It is past time to act on these issues. There’s now over [a] 100-MW backlog of proposed projects that are just waiting for the SMART Program and every moment we waste just delays our clean energy future. We echo Representative Roy’s call to immediately implement this program and end this unnecessary delay,” Gahl said.
News item from SEIA