On Friday, March 26, Massachusetts took a major step forward in the fight against climate change when Governor Charlie Baker signed S-9, An Act Creating a Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy into law. It is the most far-reaching climate legislation since the Green Communities Acts of 2008 and sets the Commonwealth on its goal to achieving Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Act addresses a wide range of climate issues from the three main sources of greenhouse gas pollution: energy generation, transportation, and buildings.
The new policy is revolutionary and sets Massachusetts on track to achieve some very ambitious climate goals, including, but not limited to:
- Increases Massachusetts’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 3% per year from 2025-2029
- Removes net metering caps on 25kW-2MW systems
- Requires Municipal Light Departments to procure 50% of its power generated from renewable energy sources by 2030
- Calls for consistent property tax guidelines for solar projects
- Procures an additional 2,400 Megawatts (MW) of new offshore wind energy by 2027
- Prioritizes and provides more equitable access to renewable energy and industry job training for environmental justice populations
- Commits $12 million in annual funding for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center for the development of green jobs
- Establishes home appliance energy efficiency and new building construction standards
Regulators from multiple agencies will now establish and implement regulations and guidelines to carry out the new laws and targets set forth by this Act.
For the business community, cities, towns, school districts, and nonprofits, one of the biggest opportunities this new law presents is greater access to low-cost renewable energy. Onsite solar and energy storage, or offsite projects that provide SMART Alternative On-Bill Credits (AOBCs) or net metering credits, are viable and now more broadly available throughout the Commonwealth.
CEO and Co-Founder of Solect Energy Ken Driscoll thanks the legislature and all of the renewable energy advocates who crafted this bill, as well as commends Governor Charlie Baker for signing this landmark climate Act, saying, “This is a revolutionary piece of legislation that prioritizes transitioning to renewable energy sources, like solar and energy storage technology, and requires the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It is one of the most ambitious climate bills I’ve seen, and it truly shows the state’s commitment to the health, safety, and future of those in Massachusetts.”