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Massachusetts Issues Emergency Rules Governing Solar Projects under SMART Program

On Wednesday, April 15, 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) issued emergency regulations under its Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program regulations (225 CMR 20.00). The regulations are applicable to solar projects eligible for incentive payments under the SMART program. The regulations go into effect immediately.

Specifically, DOER’s revised regulations:

  • Expand the SMART program by 1,600 MW, increasing the total program capacity to 3,200 MW

  • Increase the Greenfield Subtractor by 2.5x

  • Expand ineligible land use areas to include Priority Habitat, Core Habitat and Critical Natural Landscape for projects that are not Category 1, subject to certain limited exceptions

  • Expand eligibility criteria for low-income areas and create a set aside for low-income projects, while ensuring municipal aggregation community solar

  • Expand the definition of public entity projects and increase its adder

  • Create a set aside for midsize projects that are between 25 kW and 500 kW

  • Require energy storage on all projects over 500kW

  • Strengthen consumer protection provisions

In addition, due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on the solar industry, DOER is offering an extension of six months to all Solar Tariff Generation Unit, including any projects that submit their applications before July 1, 2020.

DOER will be conducting a virtual hearing on May 13, 2020 from 10AM-12PM for interested entities to provide verbal comments on the emergency regulations.  DOER will accept written comments until May 22, 2020.

©2021 Pierce Atwood LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 106
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About this Author

James M. Avery, energy and environmental lawyer, Pierce Atwood
Partner

James M. Avery represents a broad range of utilities, developers, aggregators, and other stakeholders before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board, and numerous other state utility commissions.

Jim’s clients include solar, wind, biomass, and other renewable energy firms; developers of natural gas-fired generation facilities; electric and natural gas utilities; wireless telecommunications carriers; and hospitals, government agencies, and industrial facilities.

Jim also represents clients in a variety of commercial...

(617) 488-8125
Andrew Kaplan Energy Attorney
Partner

Andrew Kaplan focuses his practice on providers of energy storage, demand response, ancillary services, and electricity and gas transmission and supply, both in the wholesale and retail markets. He regularly represents clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Independent System Operators/Regional Transmission Operators (NYISO, ISO-NE, PJM, Midcontinent ISO, California ISO, SPP and ERCOT), and many state public utility commissions. Andrew has won significant rulings before FERC that helped to pave the way for growth among leaders in the energy storage industry....

617-488-8104
Merrill Kramer, Pierce Atwood, finance attorney
Partner

Merrill Kramer is an energy and project finance partner resident in our Washington, D.C. office. Merrill represents some of the most active and innovative players in the energy industry.  He has been ranked as one of the top energy lawyers in the country by Chambers USA, Washington, D.C.'s Super Lawyers, and The Legal 500.  He has consistently received an AV® Preeminent™ rating by Martindale-Hubbell, its highest possible rating.

Merrill has advised Fortune 200 companies and other clients in the development and financing of over 80 energy...

(202) 530-6412
Sarah Tracy Energy Generation Attorney Pierce Atwood LLP
Partner

Sarah advises energy generation facilities and industrial and large commercial energy users with respect to energy and regulatory issues and due diligence matters.  Sarah also represents electric, natural gas, and telecommunications utilities before state regulatory entities. 

Sarah assists energy project owners and developers with due diligence in connection with energy infrastructure acquisitions and negotiates key energy agreements, including power purchase agreements, natural gas supply agreements and firm gas transportation agreements, and renewable energy credit purchase and...

207-791-1299
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