Commonwealth Wind Community-Scale Initiative

December 03, 2015


Through the Commonwealth Wind Incentive Program – Community-Scale Wind Initiative, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) offers site assessment grants of services, feasibility study grants, design and construction grants, and development grants for community-scale wind projects greater than 100 kW that will serve a load at the project site (and typically net meter) or will serve load requirements of a host municipal light department. MassCEC is the administrator of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust (RET), the state's clean energy fund.

Projects must owned by commercial, industrial, or institutional (including not-for-profit or public) entities served by one of the investor-owned electric distribution utilities in Massachusetts -- Unitil, National Grid, or Eversource. In addition, customers of any Municipal Light Plant (MLP) Department that pays into the RET are eligible (see MassCEC's website for additional information on which MLP's have joined the RET).

The site assessment grant is a grant of services. For public entities, there is no cost share. For non-public entities, the MassCEC requires a cost share of $1,500. The site assessment is intended to be the first step of many when planning a wind project. It is also required for additional MassCEC community-scale wind grants. There is a specific framework determined for these services, with project timelines and responsibilities clearly defined. The entire site assessment process is designed to last 12 weeks.

The feasibility study grant analyzes all aspects of a project, including the technical, environmental, regulatory, and financial aspects. Public outreach and stakeholder engagement is required as part of the feasibility study. In addition, a detailed wind resource assessment is required and additional funding is available for that piece. Acoustic studies may qualify for additional funding and should follow MassCEC's Acoustic Methodology for Wind Projects. A public entity may also apply for business planning grants, which take place after the feasibility study.

Finally, development grants are available for community-scale wind projects. These grants may be used for both development activities, such as permitting, environmental impact evaluation, technical studies, and public outreach, and construction activities, such as turbine procurement, construction, and commissioning. Funding levels (with associated cost shares) are as follows:

  • Feasibility Study, Public Entity: $50,000 maximum grant with 5% cost share.
  • Feasibility Study, Non-Public Entity: $40,000 maximum grant with 20% cost share.
  • Wind Monitoring Equipment Adder, Public Entity: $20,000, with 5% cost share.
  • Wind Monitoring Equipment Adder, Non-Public Entity: $15,000 with 20% cost share.
  • Acoustic Study Grant, Public Entity: $15,000 maximum grant and no cost share.
  • Acoustic Study Grant, Non-Public Entity: $12,000 maximum grant with 20% cost share.
  • Business Planning Adder, Public Entity only: $15,000 maximum grant with 5% cost share.
  • Development Grant, Public Entity: $400,000 maximum grant with 5% cost share.
  • Development Grant, Non-Public Entity: $260,000 maximum grant with 25% cost share.

All applications must be submitted electronically. Interested applicants must review the full program documentation, solicitations and applications. This is only a brief overview.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Massachusetts
Incentive Type: Grant Program
Web Site:
Administrator: Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Wind (All)
  • Wind (Small)
Incentive Amount: Varies depending on applicant type (public vs. non-public) and grant type (site assessment, feasibility study, onsite wind monitoring, acoustic studies, business planning, and development)
Maximum Incentive: Public Entities: $500,000
Non-Public Entities: $327,000
Equipment Requirements: Minimum project size is 100 kW.


Name: Community Wind Information
Organization: Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
Address: 55 Summer Street, 9th Floor
Boston MA 02110

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.