Archive for April, 2016

Massachusetts Raises Caps; Passes Net Energy Metering Bill

Posted April 17th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On April 11, Governor Baker signed into law Chapter 75 of the Acts of 2016. The law, which was passed with an emergency preamble to have immediate effect, raises the net metering cap by 3% for private and public solar projects and will reduce the current retail remuneration rate to the wholesale rate for commercial and community solar projects once the state hits its 1600 MW solar target. Residential projects 10 kW and smaller on single-phase circuits, or systems under 25 kW on 3-phase circuits, will be exempt from the new rates under Sections 7 and 8 of the Act. Finally, the Act will permit utilities to charge solar project owners a minimum bill to cover their fixed costs.

The immediate effect of the Act will enable the stalled solar industry in Massachusetts to restart in the short term, but the Act is far from a comprehensive solution to establishing long-term, sustainable policies for solar in the Commonwealth. With the new cap estimated to be reached in some territories within a few weeks, the pressure remains on the Legislature to continue discussions on the future of solar in the state.

The Act is the result of compromise between and among the Senate, the House of Representatives, and Governor Baker. Following an impasse of the chambers’ and Governor’s respective bills last summer and into the fall, the Legislature was able to reconcile H.4173 and S.1979, passing the bill in each chamber with nearly unanimous approval. The lone “Nay” was asserted by Rep. Jonathan Hecht (D), who voiced his worry that devaluing net metering credits was a step in the wrong direction for the Commonwealth. “I’m afraid if we do lower net metering rates by that large amount, it means many solar projects simply will not get built[]”, Hecht said.

With the devaluation of net metering rates, stakeholders will expect the value to be made up elsewhere to ensure the financial viability of solar projects. Following the SREC-II Emergency Regulations issued by the DOER last week, it is clear that the DOER is working on the next phase of the state’s solar incentive program to fulfill their obligations under Section 11 of the Act. Sustainable Energy Advantage, LLC (SEA) has been engaged to assist in conducting analysis in evaluation of the next program, and stakeholders will have the opportunity to participate in the design and implementation of the next phase of the program.

Thanks in large part to the state’s net metering policies, former Governor Patrick setting the state’s 1,600 MW target, and the successful SREC-I and SREC-II programs, the robust Massachusetts solar industry now employs more than 15,100 people. Today, the state ranks sixth in installed solar capacity, with more than 1,020 MW of solar installed.


Massachusetts SREC-II Emergency Regulation Filed: April 8, 2016

Posted April 11th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On Friday, April 8, 2016 (the effective date), the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (MA DOER) announced it filed emergency regulation with the Secretary of State’s office. The regulation was submitted to address the current uncertainty in the solar industry and facilitate a smooth transition from SREC-II to the next incentive program. Although this emergency regulation is effective immediately, it can only remain in effect for 90 days pending a full DOER rule-making proceeding. Information on next steps in the emergency regulation process is still forthcoming, including public hearings and public comment submission deadlines.

Notably, the emergency regulation implements the following:

  • Extends SREC-II eligibility to all systems greater than 25 kW constructed by January 8, 2017; 9 months from the effective date
  • Extends SREC-II eligibility to all systems less than or equal to 25 kW interconnected by the start of the next incentive program
  • Implements compliance exemption for all electricity supply contracts signed within 30 days of the effective date
  • Ensures SREC-II will run through 2027

In regard to systems greater than 25 kW, the emergency regulation grants Statements of Qualification dated April 8, 2016, to all systems that have an existing Assurance of Qualification or that have submitted an application. The retention of granted Statements of Qualification is dependent on systems demonstrating (1) authorization to interconnect or (2) proof of construction to the DOER by January 8, 2017.

Reiterating the note above, in regard to systems less than or equal to 25 kW, all applications that demonstrate authorization to interconnect by the start of the next incentive program will be qualified under the SREC-II program.

In close, the DOER noted that development of the Commonwealth’s next solar energy incentive program is underway. Sustainable Energy Advantage, LLC (SEA) has been engaged to assist in conducting analysis in evaluation of the next program. Additionally, the DOER will work with market participants to solicit feedback as the program is designed and implemented.

SRECTrade will continue to monitor the status of the emergency regulation and provide updates regarding the future of Massachusetts’s next solar incentive program. We look forward to watching the state continue to structure competitive market based solutions, similar to those previously utilized, to continue its position as a national leader of deploying distributed solar technologies.

SRECTrade Market Insights Q1 2016 Review

Posted April 7th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

SREC prices experience highs and lows. In order to understand and clearly present pricing data, SRECTrade offers a subscription product – Market Insights. Login to your SRECTrade account and get started for free. Here is a review of pricing in Maryland, Massachusetts & New Jersey for the first quarter of 2016:

Maryland RPS Bill Passes in the Senate

Posted April 7th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On Wednesday, April 6th, Maryland’s Senate passed SB0921 31-14 with a bipartisan vote. The “Clean Energy Jobs – Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Revisions” increases the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 25 percent by 2020 – up from the current obligation of 20 percent by 2022. The House version of the bill, HB1106, passed on March 21st. The consolidation of these two bills is anticipated to occur by Monday, April 11th, before advancing to Governor Larry Hogan’s desk.

On a related note, Gov. Hogan signed the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act (SB0323) into law on Monday, April 4th, requiring the state to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 2006 levels by 2030.

Illinois Supplemental PV Procurement Results – Round 3, March 2016

Posted April 7th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

In March 2016, SRECTrade participated in the third round of the Illinois Supplemental Photovoltaic Procurement Program. SRECTrade was among the eight winning suppliers of the 5-year SREC contracts awarded through the procurement program. For the Illinois Power Agency’s official announcement, please click here.

IL Round 3 table