What is SMART?
By the end of the summer, the Massachusetts Department Of Energy Resources will launch the new SMART (Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target) solar incentive program to replace the aging SREC-II program. The SMART Program is designed to give solar system owners extra compensation, on top of offset electricity costs, for solar electricity they produce. SMART tariffs are held at fixed rates, determined at a solar system’s interconection to the grid, even as the cost of electricity from your utility changes. Once a solar owner enters the program, they will receive this bonus incentive for 10 years.
When Should I Join?
The SMART program is constructed using a “block” structure. Each block has a 200 megawatt cumulative capacity, meaning once a certain block fills, new solar system owners will be entered into the next block. Earlier blocks receive higher compensation rates, so the quicker you join, the more money you make on your solar production.
How to calculate your SMART rate…
The table below lists SMART rates based on three factors: (1) block, (2) system size, and (3) utility provider. The compensation values from the chart are provided by the DOER. Calculating a system’s SMART rate is a little tricky; it is equal to your original electricity cost subtracted from the SMART tariff that applies to your home (from chart below).
For example, a standard residential system in Eversource territory (<25 kW), entered in time to join Block 1, has a SMART rate of 34 cents. If you pay 21 cents per kWh on your utility bill, you will make a bonus 13 cents ($0.34 – $0.21) on every solar kWh you produce! And that’s on top of the 21 cents of electricity you no longer have to pay for on your utility bill! If your utility rate escalates, you’ll still receive the 13 cent bonus for 10 years, in addition to offsetting those higher utility rates.
But wait, there’s more!
Another great part of the SMART program is the adders available. Adders are bonuses that boost your SMART rate. They are based on the system location, system type, and other system add-ons like battery storage or tracking. For example, if you decide to add a battery to your system you can qualify for an additional price based on type of battery and your system size. Make sure to check with your installer to see if you’re eligible!
Author: Taylor Frothingham. Taylor is a Solar Analyst with NRGTree