Massachusetts extends Solar Renewable Energy Credit program (is net metering cap next?)

massachusetts solar

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has announced plans to extend the Commonwealth’s successful Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC 2) program until it completes a long-term replacement. 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, investments and a healthier environment for Bay State families and businesses. Solar associations, businesses, non-profits and supporters praised the move to address the gap between the SREC 2 program and its successor.

Advocates also highlighted the need for state lawmakers to raise the Commonwealth’s net metering caps this session. SEIA says, as of now, there are waiting lists for net metering cap allocations in two utility service territories.

RELATED: Minnesota governor vetoes anti-solar net metering bill 

“The solar industry applauds Massachusetts Governor Baker and the Department of Energy Resources, led by Commissioner Judith Judson, for their efforts to extend the Solar Renewable Energy Credit 2 program,” said Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State Affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association. “With this extension now on the books, we are asking the Baker Administration and lawmakers to support an increase to the Commonwealth’s net metering caps. We look forward to working with the Legislature and the Governor to enact legislation raising the caps this year.”

“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 avoid a bump in the trail with this extension. Whether solar remains on that path will depend on the Administration and Legislature lifting limits on net metering and creating a viable new incentive program.”


— Solar Builder magazine

Brussels-based chemical company one of the big REC buyers for 71-MW solar project in South Carolina

solvay south carolina solar farm

Solvay, a Brussels-based multi-specialty chemical company has agreed to buy all the renewable energy certificates (RECs) for 15 years from the largest solar farm yet to be built in South Carolina.

Weird? Well, this fits into the group’s global sustainability commitment. The agreement with Moffett Solar 1, a subsidiary of Dominion Resources, Inc. contributes to Solvay’s objective to reduce the carbon intensity of its operations by 40 percent by 2025. It furthermore responds to growing customer demand for products made using renewable energy.

The 71.4-megawatt “Solvay Solar Energy-Jasper County, SC” solar farm will be about seven times the size of the next largest solar installation currently in operation in South Carolina. It is scheduled for completion by the end of 2017.

RELATED: Beyond the rooftop: How offsite PPAs change the game for solar professionals 

“This new agreement will help us reduce our CO2 intensity, one of Solvay’s main sustainability goals. It enables development of additional renewable energy capacity in a region where we have a significant presence and allows us to better serve customer expectations through sustainability,” said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay. In the southeast United States, Solvay operates nine advanced materials and chemical sites across three states. Solvay employs more than 6,700 people at over 50 locations in North America as a whole. *RECs are issued when

— Solar Builder magazine

Watch: First-ever solar-powered music video (and the product behind it)

Judging by the crowd at Battle of the Bands during Intersolar, the solar industry is into music. The organizers of Battle of the Bands may want to consider Minneapolis hip hop duo Atmosphere – featuring Slug and Ant, as headliners for 2016, as they have just released “the first-ever solar-powered music video” for their biggest single to date, 2007’s “Sunshine.” No, really, here it is:

(Be honest, if you attended the Battle of the Bands, the beginning of that song spoke to you.)

Atmosphere makes this claim thanks to a new product, currently in crowd-funding mode, called SunPort. SunPort is a small plug adaptor that the the creators say allows users to use solar power everywhere there go. No panels, just an adaptor for a an outlet. This “wearable tech for power cords” then measures the electricity you take from any outlet and “automatically upgrades it to solar.”

“Certified S-RECs are big chunks of solar, each one larger than a typical home’s entire monthly energy use,” the company states. “Our hack is simply breaking S-RECs down into much smaller increments called SunJoule™ microcredits.”

For more on SunPort, head to its Kickstarter page.

— Solar Builder magazine