Commonwealth Wind Incentive Program - Micro Wind Initiative

May 28, 2015


Through the Commonwealth Wind Incentive Program – Micro Wind Initiative the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) offers rebates of up to $4/W with a maximum of $130,000 for design and construction of customer-sited small wind public projects and rebates of up to $5.20/W with a maximum of $100,000 for non-public projects. The rebates are available for projects 1 to 99 kilowatts (kW) nameplate capacity. Projects must be located at residential, commercial, industrial or public institutional facilities ("host sites") served by one of the investor-owned electric distribution utilities in Massachusetts -- Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light (Unitil), Massachusetts Electric (National Grid), Nantucket Electric (National Grid), NSTAR Electric, or Western Massachusetts Electric. In addition, certain Municipal Light Plant (MLP) Departments have opted to pay into the Renewable Energy Trust and their customers are now eligible for rebates (see the information about MLPs here).

The rebate is available to the system owner, which may or may not be the host customer. The wind-system installer must provide "turnkey service and installation," which includes preparation and submission of the rebate application. The application must be pre-approved before the system is built. Applications must demonstrate that 50% or more of the electricity produced by the renewable-energy system to be funded by MassCEC will be used on-site or net metered, based on annual production and usage estimates. Installers are required to carry insurance, as outlined in the program guidelines. Projects may be multi-turbine projects (although only the first 99 kW will be eligible for the rebate). Projects must also meet minimum expected performance criteria of at least 10% capacity factor. As part of the application process, applicants use the Commonwealth Wind Evaluation and Siting Tool (CWEST) to determine the expected capacity factor of their project (as well as expected performance).

Massachusetts Micro Wind rebate is a hybrid rebate. It is part capacity-based and part expected performance-based. Ninety percent of the rebate is paid at the time of project goes online and 10% is paid after one year of reporting. The first part of the rebate (the "Installation Rebate") is based on the wind turbine's rated capacity at 11 m/s according to the calculation: Incentive = rated capacity (kW) * 460 + 3200.

The equation for the second rebate (the "Estimated Performance Rebate") is: Expected Production (as determined by CWEST, in kilowatt hours) * 2.8 * rated capacity (kW)^-0.29.

Applicants are required to install revenue quality meters on the systems to record the electrical production. Production must be reported monthly to the MassCEC Production Tracking System (PTS) for one year after installation. Projects 10 kW and above must install equipment capable of automated reporting to the PTS. The MassCEC will pay the remaining 10% of the incentive after receiving production information. MassCEC also uses this information to calculate performance bonus payments for systems that produce more than expected (bonus payments are not guaranteed and are subject to change).

It should be noted that projects that do not meet minimum performance eligibility requirement may be eligible for the "Production-Only Pilot Rebate." This will be available for up to five projects or 20 kW in total rated capacity. All other eligibility requirements must be met. The "Production-Only Pilot Rebate" incentive amount is calculated as:
Incentive = Production * (Installation Incentive + Estimated Performance Rebate using 10% capacity factor). It is available only after 12 months of actual electricity production.

The Micro Wind rebate is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The program retains 25% of the budget for small systems (projects 15 kW and below) during the first nine months of the fiscal year. For additional technical requirements and application materials, see the program website.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Massachusetts
Incentive Type: Rebate Program
Web Site:
Administrator: Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)
Start Date: 4/1/2005
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Wind (All)
  • Wind (Small)
Incentive Amount: Capacity-based Rebate = Rated Capacity (kW) * 460 +3200
Estimated Performance Rebate = Expected Production * 2.8 * (Rated Capacity^-0.29)
Maximum Incentive: Public Projects: up to $5.20/W with maximum of $130,000
Non-Public Projects: up to $4/W with a maximum of $100,000
Eligible System Size: 1 to 99 kW
Equipment Requirements: Systems must be new, UL-listed, and meet applicable IEEE standards. Must have dedicated meter that meets ANSI C-12 standards. Minimum 5-year warranty. Systems must be eligible for NYSERDA's Small Wind Incentive Program (in New York) and/or receive certification from the Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC).
Installation Requirements: Electrical work must be performed by MA licensed electrician. Must be grid-connected and comply with all federal, state and local codes, and NEC standards. Project must be pre-approved, but there is no list of pre-approved contractors. (See program guidelines for specifications regarding wind-energy installations.)
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits: Remains with project owner


Name: Micro Wind Project Administrator
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.