Massachusetts Mandates Revenue Meter for Solar Power Projects

Hedging Bets on Massachusetts Solar IncentivesI will say this again and again.  Massachusetts is one of the best places in the country to invest in solar power. With the introduction the market for Solar Renewable Energy Credits(SRECs) this year, the payback for residential solar installations can be 4 years or less.  You heard me right…  LESS THAN 4 YEARS. 

SRECs are tradable certificates that denote all the positive environmentalattributes of electricity generated from a photovoltaic (PV) solarinstallation.  Every time a PV system generates 1,000 kilowatt hours (1MWh) of electricity, an SREC is issued which can then be sold or tradedseparately.  Right now, an SREC aggregator has informed that these SRECs are worth $539 per credit for a 5 year contract.  This is much higherthan the price floor established by the Solar Credit ClearinghouseAuction which is set at $285 per SREC. 

In order to qualify for SRECs in Massachusetts, the projects must be in state (with some exemptions to previouscontracts) and they must be grid-tied PV installations under 2 MW.  PVprojects that participate in the SREC program must be individuallymetered and reported.   As indicated by NEPOOL GIS, a revenue grade must be used to report production from the system.  Projects over 10 kW must report electric generation automatically through a Data AcquisitionSystem (DAS) to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s ProductionTracking System.  Projects less than or equal to 10 kW may report theirproduction automatically or manually. 

The following guidelines for revenue grade meters are posted on the MassCEC website:

-          Meters must be ANSI C?12 tested and certified as a revenue meter. For more information about ANSI standards see: http://old.metering.com/archive/032/44_1.htm

-          Inverter displays of accumulated energy production are not revenue grade certified and do not meet these requirements

-          Refurbished revenue grade meters may be used

-          Note: a meter listed as eligible under the Go Solar California program does not necessarily meet these requirements (http://www.gosolarcalifornia.org/equipment/meter.php)

Brightstar Solar uses revenue grade meters from the Hialeah MeterCompany.  Kilowatt hour meters remanufactured by Hialeah have a two-year warranty. 

From experience, I can tell you these incentives aren’t going to stay the same forever.  If you’re remotely interested in solar power foryour home or business, you should work with a solar installer to see if it makes sense for your site.  Rebates are not available fordo-it-yourself projects and you will have to involve a solarprofessional to qualify.  Brightstar Solar is a licensed Massachusetts solar installer with experience working with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.  Please reach out to us if you’re interested in a complimentary solar evaluation and free estimate for your home or business in Massachusetts.

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