Renewable energy developers in Massachusetts will soon learn if there is slightly more net metering capacity available for new projects than expected. Under the new Massachusetts Net Metering System of Assurance (D.P.U. 11-11-A Order Adopting System of Assurance of Net Metering), project developers who believed their projects were close to receiving authorization to operate from their electric distribution companies had the option to reserve a share of net metering capacity for a period of 90 days from the effective date of the System of Assurance (“Transitional Period”). The System went into effect on January 24, 2013; the Transitional Period expired on April 24, 2013.
The Transitional Cap Allocation option was designed to allow very mature projects to avoid the effort and expense of filing an application to reserve capacity via the regular System of Assurance process. Fifty-four systems totaling approximately 18 MW obtained Transitional Cap Allocations. Although those 18 MW were less than 3% of the total net metering capacity (presently 666 MW) authorized by the Massachusetts Legislature, given the rapid pace of renewable project development in Massachusetts, it will not take long for those 666 MW to be allocated. To date, approximately 290 MW of net metering capacity have been allocated including the 18 MW of Transitional Cap capacity. If not all of the of projects receiving the 18 MW of Transitional Cap allocations ultimately achieved authorization to operate by the April 24, 2013 deadline, the net metering capacity of those who failed to do so will become available to projects that qualify via the regular Cap Allocation process. To track the status of available net metering capacity by utility service territory, including any Transitional Cap allocations returned to the capacity pool, go to www.massaca.org.