The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program is designed to replace the Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) II Program and offer residential solar customers consistent, sustainable, and long-term incentives for adopting solar power.
Here’s a quick overview of the key facts you should know about the SMART program:
- Fixed Incentives
The SREC II program rewarded residential solar power customers with renewable energy certificates that could be traded in the open market. Organizations looking to reduce their carbon footprint would then buy these certificates for a price decided by market forces, which inherently created a climate of uncertainty around these benefits.
On the other hand, the SMART program offers residential customers fixed incentives for their solar power systems for a straight 10 years. In doing so, it eliminates any uncertainty about their earnings from going solar.
- Declining Block Structure
The SMART program has 16, 20MW solar blocks, and every customer qualifies for a certain incentive based on the block in which they fall. The customers are allocated the blocks on a first-come-first-serve basis.
The blocks are ordered in descending order of their incentives. So, the lower the block a customer qualifies for, the lower will be their incentive scheme. Each utility company is assigned a fixed number of blocks depending on the number of customers they have.
Depending on the block and utility company, you may qualify for incentives rates of anywhere between $0.22368 and $0.34000 per kWh of installed solar power capacity.
- Bonus Incentives
Besides the standard incentive structured discussed above, you may qualify for bonus incentives based on some conditions:
- If you are a low-income property owner, your solar power installation qualifies for an additional incentive of $0.03 per kWh
- Battery-fitted solar power systems qualify for an additional $0.076 per kWh incentive, based on battery size
- Brownfield projects (solar installations on farmland) qualify for an additional $0.06 per kWh incentive, if their panels are angled and allow crops cultivating and cattle grazing
- Do You Qualify?
Residential solar installations of up to 25kW capacity qualify for the Massachusetts SMART Program. However, bear in mind that the program has a hard target of supporting up to 3,200 MW of solar power installed capacity in the state. Considering the declining block structure, the sooner you go solar and apply for the program, the better.
- Savings and Earnings
An average 6kW solar power system that produces 12,000 kWh of energy per year can save you a substantial $1,979.16, annually. When you combine that with net metering credits, you may end up saving as much as $3,609.72 per year.
Over 10 years, the figure balloons to $36,097.20, making solar power incredibly attractive to residential customers.
For more information, check out our YouTube video about the SMART Program in Massachusetts.