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What is the SMART program?

The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program is the newest program established to support the development of solar in Massachusetts. SMART has replaced the previous solar incentive program in Massachusetts, Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). In our Get Smart about SMART blog, we discuss the difference between the SMART program and the SREC incentive program.

The SMART Program is a 1600MW declining block incentive program. Eligible projects must be interconnected by one of three investor-owned utility companies in Massachusetts: Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil. Each utility has established blocks that decline in incentive rates between each block.

SMART provides a monthly payment to homeowners for the energy you produce. Your SMART incentives vary based on the size and type of system and what block of the program you are in.

The SMART program began accepting applications on November 26, 2018.  All applications received on or after December 1, 2018, will be reviewed and placed into capacity blocks on a first come first served basis.

SMART is built on declining blocks, and the solar incentives will decline as each block is used. That means that the sooner you install solar, the more incentives you are likely to receive through the SMART program. If, for example, you own a 9 kW size system that produces 10,000 kWh annually, and you are placed in the first Capacity Block, you could receive $15,000 in incentives over the next ten years!

The benefits of SMART include monthly (rather than quarterly) payments with the same payout per kWh each over 10 to 20 years. Your check may vary, as it’s dependent upon the amount of energy you produce; but the payout per kWh will not change.

Monthly financial incentives are paid directly by the utility company to the solar system owner. In order to be eligible, your system must be connected to one of three utility companies in Massachusetts: Eversource, National Grid, or Unitil.

Solar installers submit SMART applications on behalf of their customers, so taking advantage of this program is easy. Boston Solar will handle the entire application process for you. To learn more read our recent blog on What you need to know about the SMART program. 

NOTE: If you are already a part of another incentive program, for example, SREC or SRECII there is no action required. You will continue to receive your program's incentives.

Yes, commercial systems can qualify for the SMART program.

SMART consists of 1,600 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity broken down into 8 declining blocks. Each block has 200 MW of solar capacity to be used. Once the block “runs out” (every time 200MW has been installed in Massachusetts), it will move onto the next block, declining by 4%. Each block reserves a minimum of 20% and a maximum of 35% for residential solar installations.

You also qualify for a federal tax credit and will receive up to $1,000 state tax credit. If a customer chooses a solar lease or Power Purchase Agreement instead of purchasing or financing, they are not eligible for any federal or Massachusetts solar incentives.

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