The Massachusetts market is driven by net metering, a renewable portfolio standard with a solar goal along with an accompanying SREC market. The state surpassed its goal of 400 MW four years ahead of schedule and has since set a new goal of 1.6GW by 2020. Net metering caps do not align with program goals, and the legislature has had to act three times to raise the net metering caps. Current caps in certain utility territories are expected to be reached again in 2015.
Facts on the Massachusetts Solar Industry
From 2013-2016, more than 900 MW of fossil fuel plants will come offline in Massachusetts, while nearly 1,100 MW of solar is installed.
- There are currently more than 377 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Massachusetts, employing 9,400 people.
- In 2014, Massachusetts installed 308 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it 4th nationally.
- The 806 MW of solar energy currently installed in Massachusetts ranks the state sixth in the country in installed solar capacity. There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 131,000 homes.
- In 2014, $791 million was invested on solar installations in Massachusetts. This represents a 1% increase over the previous year, and is expected to grow again this year.
- Average installed residential and commercial photovoltaic system prices in Massachusetts have fallen by 4% in the last year. National Prices have also dropped steadily- by 12% from last year and 45% from 2010.
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Notable Solar Installations in Massachusetts
- Warren Solar Farm was completed in 2013 by developer First Wind. This photovoltaic project has the capacity to generate 14 MW of electricity-- enough to power over 2,300 Massachusetts homes.
- Several large retailers in Massachusetts have gone solar, including Walmart, Staples, Bed Bath and Beyond, and IKEA. Verizon has installed one of the largest corporate photovoltaic systems in the state with 1,020 kW of solar capacity at their location in Billerica.
- At 6 MW, Dennis Landfill Solar is among the largest solar installations in Massachusetts. Completed in 2014 by Clean Focus, this photovoltaic project has enough electric capacity to power more than 1,000 homes.
See our solar installations maps.
SEIA Massachusetts State Policy Priorities
- Lift the net metering caps.
- Codify the 1.6GW solar goal and identify the most appropriate incentive regime to achieve the goal.
Solar Companies in Massachusetts
There are currently more than 377 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Massachusetts. These companies provide a wide variety of solar products and services ranging from solar system installations to the manufacturing of components used in photovoltaic panels. These companies can be broken down across the following categories: 71 manufacturers, 27 manufacturing facilities, 139 contractor/installers, 33 project developers, 19 distributors and 115 engaged in other solar activities including financing, engineering and legal support.
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Massachusetts State Solar Policy Resources
Department of Public Utilities - Learn about the governing body that regulates the electricity rates and services of Massachusetts public utilities
Department of Energy Resources - Find a wide variety of information on state government energy programs, policy, projects, energy-saving strategies and energy-related statistics
State Legislature - Track pending legislation affecting solar energy, locate and contact individual legislators, and stay up to date on current legislative issues in Massachusetts
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center - Learn about the state agency dedicated solely to facilitating the development of the clean energy industry
DSIRE incentives database - Massachusetts - Search a public clearinghouse for specific solar energy incentives in Massachusetts and across the United States
U.S. Energy Information Administration - Massachusetts State Profile - Explore official energy statistics, including data on electricity supply and demand, from the U.S. government