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Solar Power Bill Awaiting Gov. Baker's Signature

This is a picture of a solar panel
Jim Levulis

A bill designed to continue encouraging homeowners, municipalities and others to increase the use of solar power in Massachusetts is awaiting Republican Governor Charlie Baker's signature. The state legislature gave final approval to the compromise bill Thursday.The bill raises caps on the state's net metering program by three percent. Net metering allows homeowners, solar developers and municipalities to sell excess power they generate back to the electrical grid in exchange for credit. Caps have been hit across the state, stalling development. State Senator Ben Downing of the Berkshires is a member of the committee that hammered out the compromise months after the House and Senate passed their own legislation.

“Failing to act really threatens the leadership position that Massachusetts has taken,” Downing said. “It threatens the solar industry in this area and our ability to combat climate change.”

Renewable energy advocates have offered lukewarm support for the bill, saying the caps will need to be raised again.

Jim is WAMC’s Assistant News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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