Massachusetts SMART Program Makes Community Solar Accessible to All
Jun 5, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 5, 2017 — CleanChoice Energy is pleased to welcome the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources’ new Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program, which will expand the state’s community solar industry, making the benefits of solar energy more accessible to all Massachusetts’ residents.
Through the new SMART program, solar developers will be incentivized to build commercial-sized projects that benefit residential households, known as “community solar,” as well as projects that are constructed on brownfields and landfills. Unlike under the previous program, where projects in more populated regions had higher credit values, under the new SMART program, projects will be valued consistently throughout the state, providing additional economic opportunities to western Massachusetts and other rural areas. DOER will announce the timing of written public comments and public hearings shortly.
Community solar is one of America’s fastest-growing solar industry markets, according to GTM Research. A total of 218 megawatts (MW) of community solar was installed across the country in in 2016, and 410 MW of community solar will be installed in the U.S. in 2017. Massachusetts has benefitted economically from solar power’s rapid expansion. The State ranks second nationally in total solar jobs and first nationally on a per-capita basis. The National Solar Jobs Census reported nearly 15,000 people were employed in the solar industry statewide during 2016, with one solar worker to every 304 total statewide jobs. The SMART program aims to add 1,600 megawatts of new solar—enough solar to power 262,400 homes.
“Community solar offers Massachusetts homeowners, renters, and businesses a chance to lock in energy savings regardless if they have a roof suitable to install solar panels,” said Tom Matzzie, Founder and CEO of CleanChoice Energy. “More solar means cleaner air, lower utility bills, and healthier lungs—our goal is to bring community solar to the thousands of Bay Staters who cannot access it today.”
CleanChoice Energy brings extensive expertise marketing and selling green energy throughout the eastern U.S., and has served over 7,000 residential customers with 100% clean electricity since entering the Massachusetts market in the autumn of 2015. The company’s mission is to make it as easy as possible for people to choose clean energy—offering clean energy as-a-service instead of as a home construction project. Since its inception in 2011, the company has served more than 1 billion kilowatts of clean energy to customers in nine states. The company will leverage its expertise in the renewable retail industry to reduce community solar soft costs and scale the nascent industry.
CleanChoice Energy received a $2.5 million cooperative award in 2016 from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative to help lower the cost of community solar projects and bring the technology to scale through an online platform. The company has opened an office in New York City’s Tech Hub at Grand Central to focus on technical development of this effort, and will be opening an office in Massachusetts during 2017.
About CleanChoice Energy
CleanChoice Energy is a leading renewable energy company empowering residential and commercial customers to reduce emissions and support clean energy through 100 percent renewable electricity. CleanChoice Energy's mission is to make clean energy accessible for everybody. CleanChoice Energy supplies only clean renewable energy to customers, operating in eight states and the District of Columbia, bringing cleaner air closer to home. The company is a founding member of the Coalition for Community Solar Access, recently passed $1 million in total corporate donations to environmental and social impact organizations, and has been awarded the highest level of B Corp certification. For more information or to become a customer, visit www.CleanChoiceEnergy.com.