Posts made in November 2018

What to Know About the SMART Program Launch in Massachusetts

At Pope Energy, we are very much involved in the initiative to create and grow a sustainable solar program in Massachusetts. Now, this solar incentive program will begin accepting applications on November 26, 2018.

The SMART Program

The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target Program (or SMART) has been in development for some time; it was supposed to launch over the summer, but was delayed until November 26, 2018.

The SMART program is administered by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) with the tariff ordered by the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) and has a program capacity size of 1,600 MWac.  

The SMART Program in MassachusettsSMART will replace the SREC II program that has existed in Massachusetts for some time. In addition, the SMART program will have a 20-year contractual tariff for systems over 25kW and a 10-year contract for those programs less than 25 kw. There are “adders” to encourage certain sectors such as agricultural solar, community solar, low-income community solar and energy storage.

The SMART program was urgently pushed by advocates, who said that the solar business in Massachusetts was falling behind the rest of the country. And now, it looks as if the state is about to have a solar resurgence, with a solid structure in place to promote, utilize, and capitalize on this renewable source. Due to the confidence that Massachusetts has engendered by consistently and dependably managing its previous solar programs, investors are flocking to invest in Massachusetts solar resulting in a potentially over-subscription of the SMART program in some utility service territories.

Read Pope Energy’s latest comment letter on the SMART program on our blog.

At Pope Energy, we cannot wait for SMART to officially launch. We look forward to working with farmers, landowners and commercial properties looking to add value to their properties by installing commercial solar systems.  If you have any questions about this new program, contact us today!

Should You Lease Your Land for Solar?

Leasing your land for the placement of a solar photovoltaic development project allows you to gain a long-term revenue from your property, enhance the value of your property for re-sale and keep your property intact without having to subdivide.

One commercial customer, who runs a very significant processing operation, told us that, “Installing solar on our property was one of the best things we have ever done. I come in every morning and watch (data screen) the renewable generation of our solar field.”

Whether you are a farmer trying to add revenue to your farm all the while continuing to farm the land using Agricultural Solar, a farm family where multiple non-farming siblings are looking to receive revenue from a family asset or a landowner looking to pay for college or add to revenue by utilizing a solar land-lease, leasing land for solar development meets a number of revenue planning challenges.

Qualifications for leasing your land for solar

Solar Energy FarmFirst, let’s go over what your land will need in order to be leased for solar.

The ideal size for a 5 megawatt system size is at least thirty acres developing a standard solar field and forty to fifty acres for an Agricultural Solar system.

The smallest land area that is economically feasible for an investor owned system is ten to eighteen acres which would yield a 2 to 3 megawatt system.

Having access to utility grid infrastructure is important and does not need to be near a transmission corridor but needs to have reasonable access to a 3-phase electrical service.

Of course, good exposure to sun is key, but also, be ready for a long-term commitment: solar farms offer a long process, but with high rewards.

At Pope Energy, we lease your land for 25 years with the opportunity for two 5-year renewals.

Benefits of leasing your land for solar

Not only can you create a substantial source of additional income for your property, but also, you’re creating a brighter, greener future for the surrounding community. If you have extra land available, why not put it to work generating renewable energy? Why not give it a purpose again?

That is community impact on a much greater level.

Our solar management team at Pope Energy will help you discover the value that solar energy can bring to your land. If you’re interested in learning more about solar leasing, and whether your land qualifies, please call us at 855-767-3363 today!