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The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program is one of the best state and utility solar incentives in the country, and thanks to a recent expansion, even more Massachusetts solar panel owners stand to benefit from it. 

Through the SMART solar incentive, residential and commercial solar panel owners in Massachusetts can receive a monthly payment for 10 years for residential and 20 years for commercial projects from their utility company (National Grid, Eversource, or Unitil) based on the amount of energy produced by their solar panel system. 

The program is organized in a declining block structure, and the rate-per-kilowatt-hour you receive will depend on the block you fall into. Block placement is determined on a first-come-first-served basis—the first solar panel owners to apply for and be approved by the program will be placed into the first block, which has the highest incentive rate. When that block reaches total capacity, it will be closed off, and applicants will be eligible for the next block. 

Incentive rates drop by 4% per block for the first 8 blocks, and then by 2% for the remaining blocks, so the sooner you install solar panels and apply for the MA SMART program, the more money you stand to make. Though there is still time to participate in the program, blocks are filling up, making 2021 the year to go solar if you want to earn as much as possible. 

 

MA SMART Program Block Status Update 

There are separate block structures in place for small-scale residential solar projects (less than 25 kW) and large-scale commercial solar projects (more than 25 kW). Most residential solar energy systems are small-scale, while commercial projects tend to be large-scale. 

Here’s the current block capacity for each category in 2021: 

 

Residential Small Solar Projects (less than 25kW)
 

Utility

Block Status  

Remaining Capacity (MW)

Eversource MA East 

Blocks 1-4 full, accepting applications for block 9-16 

170.254

Eversource MA West 

Blocks 1-4 full, accepting applications for block 9-16

170.254

National Grid 

TBD

144.745

Unitil 

Blocks 1-4 full, accepting applications for block 5 

3.334

Large Commercial Solar Projects (more than 25kW)


 

Utility

Block Status  

Remaining Capacity (MW)

Eversource MA East 

Blocks 1-4 full, accepting applications for block 9-16 

619.693

Eversource MA West 

Blocks 1-4 full, accepting applications for block 9-16

619.693

National Grid 

Blocks 1-9 full, accepting applications for block 9-16

531.800

Unitil 

Blocks 1-4 full, accepting applications for block 5

4.142

 

Is SMART the Same as SREC? 

Though the Massachusetts solar SMART program is somewhat similar to the old program Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC) program, they are not the same. 

SREC is an old incentive program that was phased out in 2018. Through SREC, solar panel owners would receive certificates for the energy their panels produced, which could then be sold to utilities. The SREC market was unpredictable, however, and it was difficult for solar panel owners to determine how much money they could make from the program.

The Massachusetts SMART solar incentive program was designed to replace SREC. Through the SMART program, you are paid automatically by your utility for the energy your solar panels produce, and you do not need to navigate an ever-changing marketplace, making SMART a much more convenient and dependable incentive program. 

Though the SREC market still exists in Massachusetts, it is only open to solar panel owners who were already participating in the program prior to its shutdown. 

 

The Sooner You Install Solar, the More You Stand to Save 

Because the SMART solar Massachusetts program is on a declining schedule, the sooner you install solar panels and apply for the program, the better your chances of qualifying for a higher block and the more money you stand to make over the course of 10 to 20 years.  Even better, at Boston Solar we’ll also handle the whole process and paywork for you so you can ensure you’re getting a smooth process into SMART savings! 

When you partner with Boston Solar for a commercial or residential solar panel installation, we’ll handle the SMART application process for you. As the number one MA-based solar installer, we’re well versed in local solar rebates and incentives, and we’ll help you qualify for as many as possible. 


There’s never been a smarter time to go solar! Call 617-858-1645 or contact us here to get a free solar quote.

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