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. The caps in all of the Commonwealth's utility territories have been met, which has resulted in more than 240 MW of projects on hold.
Facts on the Massachusetts Solar Industry
- There are currently more than 448 solar companies1 at work throughout the value chain in Massachusetts, employing 15,095 people2.
- In 2015, Massachusetts installed 340 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it fourth nationally. Installed solar capacity in Massachusetts has grown by 10% over the last year3.
- In 2015, $803 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.
- The 1,199 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 191,000 homes.
- Over the next five years, Massachusetts is expected to install 2,430 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking the state sixth over that time span. This amount is more than 3 times the amount of solar installed over the last five years.
- Installed solar PV system prices in the U.S. have dropped steadily- by 12% from last year and 66% from 2010
View more solar data.
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 homes4.
- 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 homes5.
- 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 Billerica6.
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 448 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: 80 manufacturers, 27 manufacturing facilities, 160 contractor/installers, 39 project developers, 21 distributors and 148 engaged in other solar activities including financing, engineering and legal support.
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Solar panel costs have fallen significantly in the last 5 years and now installing solar panels can be one of the best investments you can make for your home. There are also now a lot of products on the market utilizing sophisticated financing vehicles to make solar panels for your home affordable. This website will show you the average retail price of installing home solar panels in Massachusetts.
Solar rebates and solar tax credits in Massachusetts.
Solar incentives are offered at the utility, county, state and federal level. These solar incentives can take various forms including solar tax credits, up front solar rebates, premium feed in tariffs (known as net metering) or solar production incentives.The eligibility and rules for each incentive program can vary greatly. This solar panel calculator allows you to enter your address and it will tell you what solar incentives will apply at your house and the value of these if you go solar.
Finding the right solar company for you:
There are many solar companies in Massachusetts offering a wide variety of brands and options. This consumer reviews website will show you the consumer ratings of each solar installer that services your area and will also show you what brands of solar panels.
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