Commonwealth Wind Program
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Varies by project and grant types
Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust
Varies depending on applicant type (public vs. non-public) and grant type (site assessment, feasibility study, onsite wind monitoring, acoustic studies, business planning, and development)
Through the Commonwealth Wind Program, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) offers site assessment grants of services, feasibility study grants, and development grants and loans for community wind projects 100 kW or greater and commercial wind projects 2 MW or greater. Community wind projects typically serve an on-site load, are net-metered, or serve the load requirements of a municipal light department. Commercial wind projects typically serve the ISO-New England wholesale energy market or serve an on-site load that does not qualify for net metering. MassCEC is the administrator of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust (RET), the state's clean energy fund.
Projects must be owned by commercial, industrial, or institutional (including not-for-profit or public) entities served by one of the investor-owned electric distribution utilities in Massachusetts -- Unitil, National Grid, or Eversource. In addition, customers of any Municipal Light Plant (MLP) Department that pays into the RET are eligible (see MassCEC's website for additional information on which MLP's have joined the RET).
The site assessment grant is a grant of services. For public entities, there is no cost share. For private entities, the MassCEC requires a cost share of $1,500. The site assessment is intended to be the first step of many when planning a wind project. It is also required for additional MassCEC commercial wind grants. There is a specific framework determined for these services, with project timelines and responsibilities clearly defined. The entire site assessment process is designed to last 12 weeks.
The feasibility study grant analyzes all aspects of a commercial or community wind project, including the technical, environmental, regulatory, and financial aspects. Public outreach and stakeholder engagement is required as part of the feasibility study. In addition, a detailed wind resource assessment is required, and additional funding is available for that piece. Acoustic studies may qualify for additional funding and should follow MassCEC's Acoustic Methodology for Wind Projects. A public entity may apply for business planning grants, which take place after the feasibility study. Funding levels (with associated cost shares) are as follows:
- Feasibility Study, Public Entity: $50,000 maximum grant with 5% cost share.
- Feasibility Study, Non-Public Entity: $40,000 maximum grant with 20% cost share.
- Wind Monitoring Equipment Adder, Public Entity: $20,000 with 5% cost share.
- Wind Monitoring Equipment Adder, Non-Public Entity: $15,000 with 20% cost share.
- Acoustic Study Grant, Public Entity: $15,000 maximum grant and no cost share.
- Acoustic Study Grant, Non-Public Entity: $12,000 maximum grant with 20% cost share.
- Business Planning Adder, Public Entity Only: $15,000 maximum grant with 5% cost share.
Finally, development grants are available for both commercial and community wind projects. These grants may be used for activities such as permitting, evaluating environmental impacts, performing geotechnical or interconnection studies, and public outreach. Funding levels (with associated cost shares) are as follows:
- Development grant - commercial wind project, non-public entities only: $250,000 maximum grant with 40% cost share.
- Development grant - community wind project, public entity: $250,000 maximum grant with 5% cost share.
- Development grant - community wind project, non-public entity: $200,000 maximum grant with 25% cost share.
All applications must be submitted electronically. Interested applicants should review the full program documentation, solicitations, and applications.