The Golden Age of Solar

Published August 21, 2015

The Golden Age of Solar

DATE PUBLISHED: August 21, 2015
Category: Blog Article

By now you’ve probably heard about why going solar in Massachusetts is a smart financial decision. Solar is everywhere and there’s a good reason for that. Right now in Massachusetts, solar incentives are at a peak and there’s never been a better time to go solar.

Massachusetts has become a national leader in solar energy. With more than 841 MW of solar installed as of May 2015, Massachusetts is the fourth largest state in the country in terms of solar capacity. And the growth isn’t slowing down; we're well on our way to exceeding former governor Deval Patrick's goal of 1,600 MW of solar installed by 2020. The growth in solar has helped spur the state's recovery through increased economic activity and the addition of skilled labor to the workforce.

So how did this  "Golden Age of Solar” come to be?  Let's take a look at different policies and factors that contributed to the industry's rapid growth, and that continue to make solar energy  a smart investment.


SREC II: The introduction of the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate II (SREC II) program in Massachusetts in April 2014 quadrupled the "solar" goal for the state - from 400 MW to 1600 MW by 2020. The state reconfirmed its commitment to the industry and adoption on rooftops by commercial business. There are specific incentives that favor these types of installations.



Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): The current federal investment tax credit (ITC) is scheduled to expire on Dec, 31, 2016. The 30 percent tax incentive has been a huge boon to businesses and has led to rapid growth of solar across the country, especially in Massachusetts when combined with the strength of the SREC market. While it's unlikely the ITC will disappear, a change in terms could impact businesses that wait.


Net Metering

Net Metering: The state has a favorable policy which allows for flexibility in how electric rates are "credited" to various accounts. However, there are potential changes to the net metering policies in several states, including Massachusetts. For businesses that generate more electricity than they consume, this "credit" could be negatively impacted if you wait too long to enter the program.



Financing: The solar financing market in Massachusetts has become incredibly creative and strong, with banks and third-party financers realizing the bankability of solar. For commercial property owners interested in exploring the benefits of solar, there is a financing solution that will work for you.



Value: Solar technology has become more efficient and more cost effective. New companies and existing manufacturers are making panels more efficient, but we're also seeing big strides forward in making inverters and storage solutions more efficient and cost effective as well. According to the SEIA, year-over-year, the national average PV installed system price declined by 11 percent from Q3 2013 to Q3 2014. Since the third quarter of 2010, the average price of a PV panel has dropped by 63 percent, and in the first six months of 2015, PV price has dropped 6-13% more, according to the DOE.

We've seen huge growth in solar in the past several years, and while incentives are still at a peak, the end of the current federal investment tax period is drawing near and state solar policies are expected to decline.  If you're considering a solar installation, our advice to you is simple: Don't wait. Incentives are the best they will ever be.

Contact us today for a free site assessment of your property.

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