Stimulus Essentials: Deadline Looms for Comments on Massachusetts’ “Solar Big Bang”

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Hundreds of millions of dollars are flowing into Massachusetts as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “ARRA”), creating tremendous business opportunities for companies in the solar industry. Governor Deval Patrick hopes to leverage some of this money to help Massachusetts reach its goal of 250 MW of installed solar capacity by 2017. On March 26, 2009, the Department of Energy Resources (“DOER”) announced that between $40 and $100 million of ARRA dollars may be used to fund as much as 30 MW of new solar photovoltaic (“PV”) installations across the state. Before requests for qualifications (“RFQs”) will issue for these projects, however, DOER is inviting companies that have experience designing, installing, or managing large (>100 kW) PV systems to submit comments related to what financing models should be used, how solicitations should be bundled and selected, and the likely impacts of the prevailing wage and “Buy American” ARRA provisions. How these issues are resolved could significantly affect the financial attractiveness of these projects, and businesses that participate early and actively in the process will likely be better positioned to benefit from this opportunity.

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