June 6, 2017

State files three-month emergency solar extension

Photo/State House News Service

An emergency regulation intended to support the continued development of an additional 1,600 megawatts of solar energy was filed Monday by the Baker administration.

According to the Department of Energy Resources, the regulation filed with the Secretary of State's office implements the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target Program and was filed under a 2016 law requiring the agency to establish a new solar incentive program.

"While the emergency regulation takes effect immediately, it can only remain in effect for three months pending a full rulemaking proceeding conducted by DOER, at which time final rules will be promulagated," Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson wrote. "Additionally, the full implementation of the SMART Program will also require approval from the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) of tariffs filed by the Electric Distribution Companies. As such, the SMART program will not be in effect until this occurs, and no DPU proceeding can commence prior to the conclusion of DOER's rulemaking process. In the interim, the SREC II Program remains in effect for all eligible solar facilities."

In the coming weeks, the department plans to provide an announcement regarding the next steps in the rulemaking process, including information on any public hearings and deadlines for submitting written comments.

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