Massachusetts Policy Guide
“To develop a long-term sustainable solar incentive program that promotes cost-effective solar and supports diverse installations that provide unique dual-use benefits.”
Develop 80MW AC capacity of dual-use systems that create an optimized balance
between electricity generation and the agricultural productive capacity of the underlying soils.
Allow for variety and flexibility of potential farming operations in conjunction with solar energy production.
“Solar generating unit located on farmland must not interfere with the continued use of the land for agricultural purposes. Solar generating unit is a raised structure that allows growth of crops and use of labor/machinery underneath the panels for present and future uses.”
Project developer must submit itemized documentation detailing compliance with qualifying provisions, including but not limited to:
Use of Shading Analysis Tool.
Approved Agricultural Plan, submitted as a Pre-Determination Application for review by UMass Clean Energy Extension.
“Eligible Farmland” criteria met.
Required system design parameters: panel height (8’ fixed tilt, 10’ tracking); 50% maximum direct sunlight reduction requirements; Compatible sunlight needs; Growing season/time of day considerations; Maximum system rated capacity of 5MW AC.
Commitment to annual reporting.
Developed and administered by the Massachusetts Dept. of Energy Resources (MDOER) in consultation with Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources (MDAR).
UMass Amherst Clean Energy Extension and UMass Agricultural Extension jointly consult and provide review of draft Pre-Determination Applications.
Feed-in tariff. $0.06/kWh compensation rate adder for dual-use systems. Additional adders can be pursued.
Annual reporting that details crop/herd productivity and other success metrics must be provided to MDOER and MDAR throughout the lifetime of the project.
“Agriculture Solar Tariff Generation Unit: A Solar Tariff Generation Unit located on land in agricultural use or important agricultural farmland that allows the continued use of the land for agriculture.”
Applicants may request the issuance of an exception from system design parameters and/or a waiver for decreased yield.