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Massachusetts hits cap on solar power incentives

A state solar incentive with benefits for homeowners and developers has run out, according to The Boston Globe.

Before, Massachusetts issued solar renewable energy certificates that encouraged solar panel use. Homeowners and developers were given credits they could sell and buy based on how much solar energy the produced, according to the Globe. The run on commercial certificates started after the Department of Energy Resources set aside megawatts for smaller residential projects.

Solar renewable energy certificates are similar to net metering, which allowed homeowners to sell excess energy produced by solar panels back to energy companies. The limit for net metering in National Grid’s service area was reached last year, according to the Globe, though residential projects are exempt from that cap.

Legislators are split on the best way to renew both programs, which could risk Massachusetts’ status as a top solar energy state and stall existing construction projects, according to The Salem News.

“Massachusetts has been one of the top three markets for commercial scale solar,’’ Mike Hall, chief executive of California-based Borrego Solar, told the Globe. “But I would say Massachusetts has more uncertainty than any of the other large solar markets in the US right now.’’

Read the Globe’s full story here.

Clarification: The net metering cap was reached in the National Grid service area.

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