Back to top

Faculty & Staff Newsletter

February 2018

Dual use solar panels with cattle grazingGet SMART: UMass Has Role in New Solar Incentive Program Coming to State

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is in the process of finalizing a new solar PV incentive program, the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program. The regulations for SMART include an option for dual-use solar arrays on continually farmed agricultural land (with the catchy moniker Agricultural Solar Tariff Generation Unit). UMass Extension is named in the regulation as a resource to farmers and developers in the development of dual-use agricultural plans. Specifically, these plans will be developed “in conjunction with UMass Amherst agricultural extension services, including compatibility with the design of the agricultural solar system for such factors as crop selection, sunlight percentage, etc.” Guidelines for the SMART program have not yet been finalized.

UMass Clean Energy Extension (CEE) is actively working with UMass Agricultural Extension, DOER, and Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) to develop tools and guidance for those considering dual-use PV systems. Questions about this new program can be directed to Clean Energy Extension’s Associate Director River Strong,, (413) 545-8510 ext. 2.