MassCEC - Commonwealth Solar Stimulus

May 12, 2010


Funding for Block II is fully subscribed. No additional applications are being accepted. Awards were announced in June: see the Energy and Environmental Affairs June 29, 2010 Press Release Commonwealth Solar Stimulus, administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), provides rebates for the installation of grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) systems at commercial, industrial, institutional and public facilities. Commonwealth Solar Stimulus rebates are available to electricity customers served by Massachusetts investor-owned electric utilities and municipal lighting plant (MLP) utilities. Projects are eligible for rebates for PV projects greater than 10 kilowatts (kW) and less than or equal to 200 kW in capacity. For residential projects and projects 10 kW or smaller, see the Commonwealth Solar II rebate program. Ground mounted systems up to 60 kW are eligible. Rebate amounts are based on the total PV system size per building, regardless of the number of electric meters in use and certain other characteristics of the project. The Commonwealth Solar Stimulus rebate tiers are:

  • For first 1 to 25 kW: $1.50/watt
  • For greater than 25 to 100 kW: $1.00/watt
  • For greater than 100 to 200 kW: $0.50/watt
The rebate is available to the system owner, which may or may not be the host customer. Solar renewable-energy credits (SRECs) associated with system generation belong to the system owner and may be sold. MassCEC reserves the right to conduct post-installation inspections of PV projects prior to approval for payments. System installers are responsible for the application process and securing necessary permits. MassCEC has developed an online application system (called PowerClerk) for pre-approved installers. An energy-efficiency audit is generally required. Required documentation generally includes electric utility interconnection approval, an energy-efficiency audit, paid invoices or equivalent, and, if applicable, evidence that automated reporting is functional. All installers must comply with the minimum insurance requirements established by MassCEC. It is recommended, but not required, that installers or their subcontractors obtain or seek to obtain North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV installer certification. There are additional compliance requirements because the funding for this rebate comes from Federal stimulus (ARRA) money. This summary does not capture all of the requirements of the Commonwealth Solar Stimulus program. MassCEC provides program manuals as well as appendices with full program requirements.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Massachusetts
Incentive Type: Rebate Program
Web Site:
Administrator: Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Photovoltaics
Incentive Amount: $1.50/W (DC) for first 25 kW; $1.00/W (DC) for greater than 25 kW to 100 kW; $0.50/W (DC) for greater than 100 kW to 200 kW.
Maximum Incentive: $162,500 per project (up to $1 million for any host customer entity, or parent company/organization per funding block)
Eligible System Size: Systems greater than 10 kW and less than or equal to 200 kW
Equipment Requirements: All equipment must be new, UL-listed and compliant with IEEE standards. Modules must be certified to UL 1703 standards. Inverters must be certified to IEEE 929 and UL 1741 standards. All modules, inverters, and production meters must be on the California Energy Commission's list of eligible equipment. Automated reporting encouraged for systems over 10 kW. Minimum manufacturer warranties required: 5 years product and 20 years performance for modules; 10 years for inverters; 2 years for revenue grade production meters; and 5 years for mounting equipment. Must comply with ARRA requirements for "Buy American" if on public building.
Installation Requirements: Projects must be installed in compliance with all local, state, and/or federal building and electrical laws, codes and practices. Electrical work must be performed by a Massachusetts licensed electrician. NABCEP certification recommended. Projects must have a minimum 5-year warranty provided by the installer against defective workmanship, project or component breakdown, or degradation in electrical output of more than 15% from original rated electrical output during the warranty period. Projects generally must be grid-tied and "behind the meter." Must comply with ARRA requirements (such as prevailing wage), as applicable.
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits: Remains with project owner


Name: Commonwealth Solar Stimulus
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.