Due to higher electricity rates and the declining incentive structure of the SMART program, some applications may receive an incentive payment rate of $0.00.  Further information on which blocks this is occurring in is available here.  In these instances, the Department advises solar installers work with their customers to evaluate the benefits of participating directly in the RPS market.

The design of the SMART program was to keep the return of investment of solar at a certain rate in order to motivate installations. It was structured in a manner that as the price of electricity goes up, the incentive goes down. The price of electricity has definitely increased in Massachusetts since the program was put in place in later 2018.

Recently, the state updated the SMART program’s documentation, noting that most behind the meter solar power projects no longer earn an incentive. The incentive for a rooftop solar power project between 25 kWac and 250 kWac in Eversource – one of the highest incentive regions of the state – is now $0.00000. Lots of zeros, but that’s how electricity is accounted for.

That we are now at a stage where the price of electricity is high enough that the SMART program no longer generate revenue, says we might be at a tipping point in New England.


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