Since Massachusetts established their interconnection standards for distributed generation projects in February 2004, 105 projects have been approved and about 40 others are under review.
According to the 2005 annual report on DG developments in Massachusetts (prepared by the DG Collaborative for the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy), 89 of 103 proposed solar photovoltaic projects have been approved. Other approved projects include 15 fueled by natural gas and a single 10-kW wind generator.
DG Applications in Massachusetts by Fuel Type
In terms of kilowatts, 18,479 kW of total DG capacity has applied for interconnection, 3,900 kW has been approved, 14,576.5 kW is still in the review process, and 2.5 kW were rejected.
The verdict is still out on how effective standardized interconnection procedures themselves are for encouraging DG development. The fact that over 70 percent of the proposed DG projects have been small solar projects could say more about the effectiveness of Massachusetts’ renewable incentive programs rather than the effectiveness of the interconnection standards. Data on the number of approved DG projects before the interconnection standards were adopted was not outlined in the report.
The Massachusetts DG Collaborative, which helped devise the uniform interconnection standards, will continue monitoring DG developments and will be working over the next year to determine how well DG can be used to defer infrastructure upgrades by providing congestion relief on the electricity grid.