CCSA Issues Statement on Massachusetts’ SMART Program Expansion

April 15th, 2020

BOSTON, MA – Today, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) issued updated regulations for the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program that added 1,600 megawatts (MW) to the program, increasing total SMART capacity to 3,200 MW.

The Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) issued the following statement in response:

“We applaud the Baker Administration and DOER for supporting local, clean energy at this crucial juncture. Expanding SMART by 1,600 MW – a doubling of the program – is a very positive step that will help the Commonwealth achieve its climate goals, including through the deployment of community solar,” said Erika Niedowski, northeast director for CCSA. “Community solar has been a success story of job creation, local economic development, and consumer savings because it provides clean energy access to any customer with an electric bill. We know that significantly more community solar will have to be deployed if the Commonwealth is to meet the Governor’s target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. We look forward to fully reviewing details of the new SMART regulations, and to working with DOER and all stakeholders to ensure that the Commonwealth remains a leader in local solar development. The solar industry is set to experience significant challenges as the Commonwealth recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the attendant economic downturn. The Administration’s decision to double the SMART program’s capacity will help provide the industry certainty it needs to continue investing in solar in Massachusetts.”

DOER also announced that it has approved a six-month extension to SMART Statement of Qualification deadlines for projects that apply before July 1, 2020, due to disruptions related to the COVID-19 crisis.

“We recognize the unprecedented and challenging position the Commonwealth finds itself in, and greatly appreciate DOER’s flexibility in providing this six-month blanket extension as a first step in addressing the significant disruptions the distributed solar industry is facing,” said Niedowski. “We look forward to engaging with the Department in the coming weeks to ensure the community solar industry can get safely back to work and play a robust role in the Commonwealth’s economic recovery and accelerated transition to a lower-carbon future.”