SECTION 1. Chapter 138 of the General Laws is hereby amended in the definition of “Class III net metering facility” by adding at the end thereof, the following words: “; provided further, that a Class III net metering facility that is a solar net metering facility located on built land may have a generating capacity of more than 1 megawatt but less than or equal to 5 megawatts.”
SECTION 2. Chapter 138 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following definitions:
“Disturbed land”, land containing pavement, compacted urban soils, gravel pits, and other land that is barren of native plant growth due to human activity prior to January 1, 2023 and land that is part of a parcel containing built land that is not BioMap Core Habitat or Critical Natural Landscape and is not and has not been forest or used for agriculture or zoned for agriculture since January 1, 2012.
“Built land”, parking lots over which a solar canopy can be installed, brownfields, landfills, roadway cuts or disturbed land.
SECTION 3. Section 139(i) of chapter 164 of the General Laws, as amended by chapter 8 of the acts of 2021, and amended by Section 54 of chapter 179 of the acts of 2022 is hereby further amended by adding the following sentence:
A Class I net metering facility on built land with a capacity greater than 25 kilowatts, a Class II net metering facility on built land or Class III solar net metering facility on built land shall be exempt from subsections (b1/2) and (k) and from the aggregate net metering capacity of facilities that are not net metering facilities of a municipality or other governmental entity under subsection (f) and may net meter and, irrespective of size, accrue Class II net metering credits if it is generating renewable energy.
SECTION 4. Chapter 75 of the acts of 2016, as amended by section 63 of chapter 179 of the acts of 2022, is hereby further amended by inserting after 11A the following three new sections:
Section 11B. The department of energy resources shall promulgate regulations to include in the solar incentive program established in section 11 and in any successor solar incentive program, additional adders for solar facilities located on built land, including parking lot canopies, and remove declining incentive blocks for solar facilities located on built land. The department of energy resources may promulgate regulations that allow adjustment of incentives for solar energy based on market conditions for energy, labor, steel, other materials associated with the manufacturing of solar panels, and other solar development cost realities. By December 31, 2024 the administration shall either implement these changes for built land facilities or provide its rationale for objecting to any that it does not implement.
Section 11C. The administration shall investigate and report on appropriate uses of federal funds and funds held in the transitional escrow account, specifically funds transferred pursuant to section 259 of chapter 268 of the acts of 2022 to the Transitional Escrow Fund established in section 16 of chapter 76 of the acts of 2021, as amended by section 4 of chapter 98 of the acts of 2022, and any funds remaining in the federal COVID-19 response fund established in section 2JJJJ of chapter 29 of the General Laws to encourage the equitable deployment of solar facilities located on built land. The administration shall transmit the report to the executive office of energy and environmental affairs, the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on telecommunications, utilities & energy, and the chairs of the house and senate committees on ways & means no later than December 31, 2024.
Section 11D. The administration shall create an incentive for roof repair or replacement as part of a rooftop solar project if needed to make solar an economically sound choice, either as a grant program or a feed in tariff via the SMART program, with priority and/or larger incentives for buildings in rural and environmental justice communities. By December 31, 2024 the administration shall either implement an incentive or provide its rationale for objecting to an incentive.
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