Bob Sanders of NH Business Review has an excellent look at why a lot of very large (by NH standards, anyway) solar projects are being proposed in the states:

All the projects being proposed in New Hampshire total 210 MW of capacity, triple the state’s solar capacity in 2016.  The huge projects are the result of a bidding war driven by the regional hunger for renewable power, a war that includes traditional utilities like Eversource and National Grid, with such projects as the Northern Pass and Granite State Power Link transmission lines, as well as nine utility-sized solar projects.

In 2016, the combined solar capacity of all of New Hampshire barely topped 60 MW. Currently, almost all of the solar projects are built or leased by homeowners, businesses, institutions and towns to save money off their utility bills. This is decentralized power, the vision of most of those activists protesting nuclear power plants in the 1970s and 1980s. Utility-scale solar, however, is built to make money by selling power to those very utilities with a centralized generating plant.

“You have to keep in mind, this is a different market. Net metering — that’s retail. This is really big wholesale,” said Kate Epsen, executive director of the NH Sustainable Energy Association. “They don’t cross paths very often.”

Read the whole piece here; it’s excellent.

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