• New Hampshire State Senate passes net metering bill, which would increase cap from 50 MW to 100 MW, after state legislature clears it
  • Net metering supporter Governor Maggie Hassan is much likely to sign the bill into a law
  • Neighbouring state of Massachusetts also raises the net metering cap by 3%
  • According to SEIA, in the absence of any negotiations on net metering solar industry had stalled 551 projects in Massachusetts

The US state of New Hampshire has increased the cap on net metering in the state after the Senate approved HB1116. The bill proposes increasing the net metering cap of 50 MW to 100 MW. It had already been cleared by the state legislature early this year.

The bill was introduced on February 10 this year, and went through a series of consultations and amendments before finally getting passed by the senate on April 7, 2016 with 19 affirmations and 4 negative votes.

The Bill reads, “For small systems less than or equal to 100 kilowatts (kW) the reimbursement rate is equal to the full kWh retail service electric rate. For larger systems over 100 kW the reimbursement rate equals the default service charges.”

With Governor Maggie Hassan already a vocal supporter of the idea, the bill should be cleared very soon. “I applaud legislators from both parties for their recognition of the importance of lifting the cap on net metering, and I look forward to signing this bipartisan bill so that our clean energy industry can continue to grow and thrive,” Hassan commented in an official statement.

The Majority Leader in the legislature and one of the sponsors of the bill, Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro), said, “I support the net metering cap increase that passed in the Senate today because it strikes an important balance between allowing continued renewable energy development while also enabling the Public Utilities Commission to set a net metering rate that better protects electric customers.”

Massachusetts also rules on net metering cap
Close on the heels of New Hampshire net metering result, the neighbouring state of Massachusetts too agreed to raise its net metering caps by 3%. The US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) President and CEO, Rhone Resch, said, “While the compromise proposal includes cuts to the rates at which some customers are credited for solar power, it gets the industry moving again. We urge lawmakers to move quickly to approve this proposal and we look forward to continuing to work with the legislature and Gov. Baker to craft long-term, sustainable policies for the solar industry in Massachusetts.”

In March, SEIA conducted an analysis on net metering and its effects on the solar industry in the state of Massachusetts. It found that with the legislators not moving ahead on lifting the net metering cap, as many as 551 solar projects had stalled which amounted to $618 million in investment and more than 241 MW of installed capacity.