How Solar Developers Can Capitalize on MA SMART’s New Storage Rules

By Ryan O’Keefe, SVP of Market Enablement | June 25, 2020

Expanded incentives will benefit both front-of-meter (FTM) and behind-the-meter (BTM) solar installations

Massachusetts’ recent expansion of its Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program continues the state’s long history of clean energy leadership. In addition to doubling its overall solar target to 3.2 gigawatts (GW), MA SMART now requires that energy storage be added to solar systems larger than 500 kilowatts (kW).

This new provision presents a tremendous opportunity for solar developers. Adding storage to solar projects adds significant value, as Stem has demonstrated at its newest facility in Blandford, Mass. as well as in jurisdictions across North America. As a leading energy storage provider in Massachusetts, Stem is well positioned to help developers realize successful projects under MA SMART’s expanded incentives and requirements.

How Storage Benefits Solar

Massachusetts clearly understands the reliability, resilience, and clean energy benefits that energy storage delivers to the grid, and the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has continued to recognize batteries as a cornerstone resource for the Commonwealth’s energy future.

At the project level, energy storage systems (ESS) add considerable value and enhance solar project economics. Storage turns PV into a dispatchable resource, and bundling solar with storage gives developers a differentiated product offering in the market. Most importantly, AthenaTM, Stem’s industry-leading artificial intelligence (AI), maximizes today’s project revenues by discharging stored solar energy when it’s most valuable while “future-proofing” against potential changes in tariffs, requirements, and incentives.

Based on real-world deployments with our partners, Stem has found that developers can increase their revenue by 50% and double gross margins by adding storage.

In Massachusetts, Stem’s AI-driven energy storage maximizes solar project revenues in four key ways:

  1. Enabling projects to receive the MA SMART energy storage incentive adder
  2. Time-shifting solar energy so it contributes to Massachusetts’ Clean Peak Standard
  3. For front-of-meter (FTM) projects, automating participation in ISO-New England wholesale markets and maximizing energy, capacity, and ancillary services revenues
  4. For behind-the-meter (BTM) projects, enabling end-use customers to earn demand response program revenues and optimize utility bills through demand charge management and energy arbitrage


The Blandford site represents the first 8MWh of 28MWh in large-scale solar + storage projects that Stem is developing with Syncarpha Capital throughout Massachusetts.

Why Choose Stem?

Stem is a leading provider for turnkey energy storage solutions in Massachusetts. Our market expertise, operating experience, and advanced technology platform make it easy to attach storage to your PV projects and create additional value.

  • Partner of choice. With more than 130 MWh of storage contracted in Massachusetts across 36 sites, Stem is the energy storage partner of choice for PV developers, C&I customers, and utilities. Stem was chosen by Eversource for its Demand Reduction Demonstration Program, and by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and DOER for a competitive Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) grant project. Stem is currently working with leading solar developers to realize solar + storage projects under MA SMART.
  • Best-in-class technology. Stem’s Athena AI is the industry’s most sophisticated storage operating platform, optimizing storage systems at over 1,000 sites on 80 unique utility tariffs spanning nine states and three countries. Last year, Athena exceeded customer savings guarantees by nearly 50% and improved year-over-year savings by 15%. Through Athena, Stem seamlessly manages ESS operating complexity via 24/7 monitoring, warranty management, enrollment in incentive and grid services programs, and automatic ESS dispatch.
  • Market-leading experience. As a first mover in Massachusetts’ energy storage market, Stem understands how to navigate local market nuances related to authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) permitting, utility interconnection requirements, and incentive program rules. And with nearly a decade of experience pioneering successful projects in markets across North America, Stem has developed unparalleled expertise across the energy storage value chain. Partnering with the most experienced storage developer and operator makes adding storage to PV projects simple.

What’s Next?

MA SMART’s expanded goals and incentives have made a leading program even stronger. As a market leader in energy storage with deep experience in Massachusetts, Stem is delighted to deliver outstanding value to developers by implementing storage at their solar sites in Massachusetts.

To learn more about how partnering with Stem can maximize solar project revenues, contact us today!