On 4/30/15 the Solar Task Force completed their final report (click here) … no one was surprised that the mostly utility favored membership decided solar energy growth should be slowed, and incentives reduced. In the Preface, Angie O’Connor, Baker appointee to DPU, states “the Administration does not support raising the net metering caps in the short term absent a long term sustainable solution. Rather, we believe it is extremely important that any adjustments to the caps be accompanied by meaningful changes to the mix of incentives and proper consideration of the role of the ratepayers.” As predicted, the utilities plan to extort the solar industry into supporting their own demise through excepting declining incentives and constricted growth while paving the illusion of ratepayer protection by constructing new gas pipelines to LGN seaports bound for Europe.
Unlike last year when utilities recruited large out-of-state solar installers, angry with SRECII, to turn on in-state solar through legislation H4185, they are now relying on the new Republican Governor (Gas utilities were Baker’s 2nd largest campaign contributor), DPU and DOER to finally take control of future and current solar incentives. Since last fall new solar alliances have been created through Mass Solar (click here) and Mass Solar Coalition bringing together both large and small solar installers, along with numerous environmental and anti-pipeline groups. With Net Metering Caps holding solar growth hostage, most notably in NGRID territory, there is compelling need to develop new solar legislation ahead of the utilities to get legislator’s early support. MASOA supports Next Generation MA Solar Principles and Policy (click here – Summary click here) by Mark LeBel of the Acadia Center … we strongly hope these policy proposals will be incorporated into current bills H2852 and S1770 to be discussed publicly on June 2nd at 1 pm in the State House Gardener Auditorium – please plan to attend if you can!