Recent Activities


Pace Energy and Climate Center has invited solar experts from across New England and the Northeast to provide you with the latest in solar market policy information. Topics that will be addressed include: Significant legislative and regulatory developments, current and future regulatory and policy issues, solar business association priorities for the year ahead.

10/19 | 1:00-1:30pm | Maine with Dylan Voorhees of Natural Resources Council of Maine | Register

10/31 | 1:00-1:30pm | Rhode Island with Christopher Kearns of Energy RI | Register

11/07 | 1:00-1:30pm | Massachusetts with Pearl Gray of Pace Energy and Climate Center| Register

11/14 | 1:00-1:30pm | New Hampshire with Kate Epsen of NH Sustainable EnergyRegister

11/21 | 1:00-1:30pm | Vermont with Pearl Gray of Pace Energy and Climate Center | Register

12/07 | 1:00-1:30pm | New York with ​David Gahl of Solar Energy Industries Association | Register

12/12 | 1:00-1:30 pm | Connecticut with Mike Trahan of Solar Connecticut | Register 

12/19 | 1:00-1:30 pm| Pennsylvania with Ron Celetano of PASEIA | Register

You can catch up on the last round of informative solar policy webinar sessions by scrolling down.

For more information, contact: Pearl Gray at

Governor signs solar legislation in Rhode Island:

On August 9, Governor Gina M. Raimondo signed legislation supporting the growth of clean energy in Rhode Island in front of a ground-mounted solar array at the Quonset Business Park.

The signing ceremony followed the passage of several bills:

Renewable Energy Growth Program (H-5273, S-112) - A 10-year extension of the renewable energy growth program, which enables customers to sell the electricity they generate back to the grid under long-term fixed prices.

Statewide Solar Permitting (H-5575, S-562) - Establishes a statewide solar permitting application to streamline the process for homeowners, businesses, property owners and solar developers who are looking to install solar systems in Rhode Island.

Renewable Energy Interconnection Standards (H-5483, S-637) - ** ** Streamlines the process of connecting renewable energy installations to the grid.

Renewable Energy/Farm Land Taxation (H-6095, S-570) - Allows farmers to install a renewable energy system on up to 20 percent of their total farm land acreage, thereby allowing farmers to support the state's clean energy goals while preserving our limited agricultural space.

Virtual Net Metering Program Expansion (H-5618, S-1007) - Expands virtual net metering (a program which allows customers to install solar systems offsite) to private/public schools, non-profits, federal government and hospitals.

New Hampshire Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2017 Passes

SB129, also known as the Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2017, became law on July 11th, 2017!  Governor Sununu allowed the bill to become law without his signature. This new law removes the 10kW limit on residential solar rebate program, has the potential to create over 2,000 jobs and further develop a long-term local and renewable energy supply at a predicable price. It also makes more Renewable Energy Fund (REF) available to low-income customers and ensures access and benefits to renewable energy. 

Development of New Alternative Net Metering Tariffs and/or Other Regulatory Mechanisms and Tariffs for Customer Generators

New Hampshire has a robust solar industry, with nearly 1,200 jobs strong and a growth rate that exceeds nearly all other sectors. Solar and small hydro energy are local, in-state forms of energy that generate significant economic activity, which helps our towns, communities, businesses and families.

This order removes the statewide cap. This is a critically important feature of the new net-metering program and something that NHSEA advocated strongly in favor of. NH has had the lowest and most restrictive cap in the region, so this will make NH more competitive with other states, will help attract new investment here and give large energy users greater opportunity to control costs.

Key Components of the Order ( full order found here):

  1. The new NEM rate begins on September 1, 2017. May be later if utilities can't update their billing systems in time to reflect the new NEM regime. Customers must be given 30 days notice in advance of the new rate start date.
  2. Grandfathering - all existing NEM systems are still grandfathered through 2040. NEW systems (under new rate) also grandfathered through 2040.
  3. Small systems ≤100 kW are still credited monthly at 100% of retail energy and transmission ** charges but only 25% of distribution ** charge; the customer will receive monetary bill credits instead of kWh credits (allowing cash payment if customer moves or annual credit balance exceeds $100)
  4. Large systems >100kW are still credited monthly at the ** default energy rate** ; bill credits now monetary instead of kWh.
  5. All customer-generators must pay non-bypassable charges (system benefits, stranded cost recovery, storm recovery) based on full amount of electricity imports without netting exports.
  6. Monthly Netting is maintained - all non-bypassable charges are netted on a monthly billing basis still.
  7. Value of DER Study: Eversource must perform a marginal cost of service study within twelve months (of Order date) to inform the Value of DER study. Value of DER study will focus on solar and small hydro and use a 10-15 year framework for the analysis. Staff will direct/manage the study, hire a consultant to help perform it, and will begin by convening a workgroup to develop scope of study within two months' time of this Order.
  8. Statewide Cap- No new cap was set (so effectively the cap has been removed).
  9. Pilots - Four pilot programs are approved, including: Time-of-Use (Eversource and Unitil only), shared bill credits for low/moderate income customers, Real-Time-Pricing for one municipality (Lebanon), and a non-wires alternative pilot. The Northeast is a hotbed of solar policy development. Each episode of this webinar series will highlight one state. Leading solar energy policy experts will share their state specific knowledge in solar market policy development. Join us for one or more episodes!

View our Solar Policy Updates:

5/2 | 1:00-1:30pm | Pennsylvania with Ron Celentano of PASEIA/ MSEIA | Recording

5/11 | 1:00-1:30pm | Vermont with Olivia Campbell Anderson of REVermont| Recording

5/16 | 1:00-1:30pm | Connecticut with Jamie Howland of the Acadia Center| Recording

2/28 | 1:00-1:30pm | New Hampshire with Kate Epsen of NH Sustainable Energy| Recording

3/7 | 1:00-1:30pm | Massachusetts with Jim Kennery of Sustainable Energy Advantage| Recording

3/23 | 1:00-1:30pm | Rhode Island with Christopher Kearns of Energy RI | Recording

4/13 | 1:00-1:30pm | New York with ​David Gahl of Solar Energy Industries Association | Recording

4/21 | 1:00-1:30pm | Maine with Dylan Voorhees of National Resources Council of Maine | Recording

The State of Grid Interconnection in the Northeast

Connecting distributed generation (DG) like solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to the grid is not the most straightforward thing in the world. The electric grid is a complex system, and electric distribution companies (EDC) must ensure that it is operated safely and reliably at all times. For this reason, EDCs are very cautious when it comes to interconnecting DG systems to the grid. Safe interconnection requires adherence to certain rules and procedures and the screening of projects for potential negative impacts to the overall grid. For project developers, these rules can be confusing and prohibitively expensive both in terms of dollars and time, especially when the rules differ from state to state, or even from EDC to EDC within a state.

To address concerns for both maintaining grid safety and reliability without unduly hindering DG deployment, many states have developed standard interconnection guidelines and procedures. These procedures often delineate technical requirements, fees and cost responsibility, and the application process steps for EDCs and developers.

This post looks at what states in the Northeast have done regarding interconnection standards, and what changes may be in the pipeline.

Updated Solar Market Policy Survey

The Pace Energy and Climate Center has compiled information on solar market relevant policies for the nine Northeastern states. State specific information can be found on each state's page, and policy specific information can be found on the NESEMC resource page.

Financing Clean Energy

NESEMC collaborated with the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) to investigate the benefits of expanding clean energy financing in the Northeast. UCS analyzed the potential outcome of increasing clean energy financing capacity in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, based on the experiences of clean energy lending programs in Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and elsewhere. The analyses shows how the states could expand clean energy financing programs to make additional low-interest loans available to homeowners, businesses and municipalities who want to make energy efficiency improvements, install solar panels, or invest in other types of clean energy projects.

View the fact sheets here:

Maine - Green Banks: Transforming Clean Energy Finance in Maine

New Hampshire - Financing Clean Energy: A Powerful Tool for Driving Investment in New Hampshire’s Economy

Vermont - Financing Clean Energy: A Powerful Tool for Driving Investment in Vermont’s Economy

UCS Green Bank Analysis Methodology

Northeast Solar Energy Market News