The new net metering framework ushers in an important new chapter for distributed generation in Massachusetts, particularly for wind energy. The new scheme provides potentially significant benefits for home and community-scale wind installations, because it allows the “host utility customer” to transfer credits to other utility customers, providing a sizable benefit for customers who are able to generate significantly more power than they use.
Net metering is a state regulation allowing customers to receive value during periods when their eligible on-site distributed generation (such as a wind turbine or solar array) generates more electricity than they use. That is, the electric meter runs backward whenever a customer’s net metered facility is producing more power than is being consumed and their account gets net metering credits for net excess generation at the end of the customer’s monthly billing period.
The new net metering framework:
- Raises the maximum capacity for eligible facilities from 60 kW to 2 MW,
- Increases the net metering credit from a wholesale rate to an amount closer to the retail rate,
- Provides that unused net metering credits do not expire, and
- Allows host customers to transfer credits to other utility customers, providing a sizable benefit for customers able to generate significantly more power than they use.
The value of a net metering credit (for any excess generation at the end of each monthly billing period) for the renewable facilities has been increased from the wholesale rate in the former policy to amounts closer to a retail rate (as determined by the Class of net metering facility and customer type). Credits can also be carried forward month after month.
Learn more here.