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Municipal Light Plant Solar Program

Due to the popularity of the DOER’s MLP Solar Program, a select group of MLPs will continue offering a rebate on solar projects and accept applications through December 31, 2022. TO GET STARTED:

  • Submit an interconnection application to your MLP. The matrix below shows participating MLPs and their interconnection application and/or contact person. If your MLP isn’t listed below, visit their rebate offerings page, to contact them directly if they’re running a program. 
  • For potential applicants from participating MLPs, determine if your project meets the program’s technical requirements described in the Program Description below.
  • Submit an interconnection application to your MLP for project design / interconnection approval. Do not install upon MLP approval; rebate approval occurs via this portal after ENE reviews the application and issues a Rebate Reservation letter. The MLP’s interconnection approval is not a rebate approval. 
  • Submit a portal application. Once submitted, your portal application will await sign-off from your MLP that confirms an approved interconnection application. ENE will then validate your portal application.
  • Monitor your emails for portal notifications. ENE might need additional information before processing your application further. If approved, your Rebate Reservation letter will arrive via email, along with directions and forms for the completion process. 

DOER Solar Program

The DOER Solar Program is closed and paying out the final batch of projects. Together, the DOER and participating MLPs have issued over $3.4 million in rebates as of August 2022, each providing 50% of the rebate funding. 

Participating MLPRebate LevelAmount MaximumsSolar Program WebpageInterconnection Contact
Braintree Electric Light Department (BELD)$0.60/watt DC25 kW DCBELD Solar PageSean Murphy
Operations Manager
Georgetown Municipal Light Department (GMLD)$1.20/watt DC10 kW DCGeorgetown Municipal Light Standards for Interconnecting Distributed GenerationDavid Schofield
General Manager
Middleborough Gas & Electric Department (MGED)$0.60/watt DC25 kW DC
MGED Solar PageMGED Customer Service 508-947-1371
Norwood Municipal Light Department (NMLD)$1.20/watt DC25 kW DCNMLD Distributed Generation Interconnection PolicyColin Gearty
Electrical Engineer
Rowley Municipal Light Department (RMLP)$0.60/watt DC10 kW DC
($6,000 rebate)
RMLP Solar PageMatt Brown
General Manager
Reading Municipal Light Department (RMLD)$1.20/watt DC20 kW DCRMLD Solar PageAjey Pandey
Integrated Resource Specialist
FAQ's

Is my roof suitable for solar?
The required roof orientation is East-West (an Azimuth of 90-270 degrees), with a system-wide weighted average Annual Access value of at least 80%, measured with a program-approved Shade Report (detailed in Section 7). Reading Municipal Light Department is allowing an Azimuth range of 80-280 and an annual access of 70%. An installer’s solar consultation should include a site evaluation that uses an approved shade tool. The age and condition of your roof is also a factor. Solar panels have a lifetime expectancy of 20 years. If your roof is older than 20 years, consider replacing it prior to installing a solar system. Roof repair or replacement costs are not eligible for rebate.

How long does it take to install a solar electric system?
There are multiple factors that can lengthen the process during any phase of a solar project, many of which happen during application processing. Installation is often the quickest portion of the process.

What questions should I ask a potential installer?
Buyer beware. Read any contract before signing. Educate yourself about the process. The MassCEC Residential Guide to Solar Electricity is a helpful resource.

How much electricity will my system generate?

Output depends on many factors. A conservative output estimate is 1,100 kilowatt hours of electricity annually for every one kilowatt of system size. The average residential system in Massachusetts is 8 kilowatts and produces about 8,800 kilowatts of electricity each year. Your MLP might have size restrictions on system size in relation to your past electricity usage.

Should I get an energy audit and adopt energy efficiency measures before installing solar?
Yes. It’s not required but always a great idea. Assessing your home’s energy efficiency and adopting suggested measures is the easiest way to lower electric consumption. ENE offers no-cost Home Energy Assessments on behalf of your MLP. Sign up to get started.

What maintenance does a solar electric system need?
Solar electric systems can require maintenance over their 20-year lifetime.  Installers should provide a minimum five-year labor warranty to protect your equipment against defective workmanship, component breakdown, or significant degradation in electrical output. In addition, the solar electric equipment should have appropriate manufacturers’ warranties. Although it is uncommon for a solar PV panel or inverter to stop functioning while under warranty, talk to your installer about their policies for equipment replacement, including whether or not labor costs are included.

Can I install the system myself?
Only Massachusetts-licensed Master Electricians are qualified to install solar projects and ENE will require a copy of your license. Labor costs for self-installed systems are not eligible for rebate and must be omitted from the total project cost amount. The individual or organization installing the solar system must also be licensed to conduct business in Massachusetts.

What are my financing options?

The facility owner must directly purchase or take out a loan for the project in order to qualify for the rebate. Solar leasing and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) projects do not qualify for this program.

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Solar Cost Comparison Tool can help you understand what other homeowners in Massachusetts have paid for similar systems in your area.

HOW DO I SELECT A CONTRACTOR?

Tips for choosing the right solar contractor:

  • Request at least three detailed estimates from licensed contractors.
  • Only MA-Licensed Master Electrician can install your system. Installers must be licensed to operate in the state of Massachusetts.  Verify that installers are properly licensed by checking the Massachusetts Home Improvement Contractor Registry and eLicensing Portal.
  • Make sure your contractor is bonded and insured.
  • Read all documentation carefully before you sign. It’s your responsibility to understand the contract between you and your installer. Any project changes should be documented in writing.
  • The links below includes directories and contact information for installers that work in the Commonwealth.
HOW DO I COMPLETE THE APPLICATION PROCESS?

1. Project Owner chooses an Installer & both parties sign an installation contract.

2. On behalf of the Project Owner, the Installer submits an interconnection application to the Municipal Light Plant (MLP) and awaits approval. The Installer can also submit a portal application. ** An approved Interconnection Application from the MLP is not an approval to install. It’s approval to apply for the 2022 MLP Residential Solar Program via the online portal.*** 

3. To complete the portal application.

  • Complete all fields.
  • Submit the following documents:
    • Proof of property ownership (deed or current tax bill)
    • Installer contract (signed)
    • Shade report (see Section 7 in the Program Description for accepted shade tools)
    • E-sign the portal-generated Participant’s Agreement & Application to submit application for validation. The installer and project owner must e-sign both documents.

4. The MLP will confirm interconnection approval via the portal, enabling ENE to begin application validation.

5. Await portal application validation

  • Provide additional documents, as requested via portal auto-notifcations.

6. Rebate Reservation/Installation Approval

  • The Rebate Reservation letter is approval to install the system.
  • The Reservation approval email package includes all Completion Documents:
    • Meter Connection form
    • Project Completion form
    • Project Change form

7. Install system and receive a Permission to Operate letter/ document from the MLP.

  • Each MLP has its own approval process and requirements.

8. Submit Completion Documents to the portal application

  • MLP’s Permission to Operate
  • Project Completion form (issued with the Rebate Reservation email package)
  • Meter form (issued with the Rebate Reservation email package)
  • Meter picture (front face only; need to show legible meter ID & meter is powered on)
  • Invoice or loan document showing at least 200% of the rebate reservation amount have been paid
  • Change Request form (if applicable; issued with Rebate Reservation packet)
  • Tree removal validation forms (for projects with failing shade values; forms provided if applicable during pre-install phase

9. Await Payment verification.

10. Await Payment.

 

Program Documents

Z

Technical Requirements

h

Program Description

Solar Project Flow

Milestone Matrix

Pre-Installation Forms

h

Rebate Addendum

For multi-array systems with at least one array outside the azimuth.

h

Tree Removal Form

For systems that fail the shade requirement.

h

Participants Agreement

This agreement is generated by the portal.

h

Shade Report

Provided by the applicant and uploaded to the portal.

h

Proof of Ownership

Provided by the applicant and uploaded to the portal.

h

Contract with Installer

Provided by the applicant and uploaded to the portal.

Completion Forms

h

Project Completion Form

h

Change Request Form

h

Meter Connection Form

h

Meter Installation Packet

More Information

For more information please contact Energy New England, the MLP program Administrator, at solar@ene.org or call 888-772-4242.

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