Archive for the ‘Washington, DC’ Category

D.C. RPS Bill Published in Register

Posted August 23rd, 2016 by SRECTrade.

Following Mayor Bowser’s signature last month, the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Amendment Act of 2016 is now published in the D.C. Register.

A21-466 was published in Volume 63, Number 33 of the District of Columbia Register on August 5, 2016 under the Actions of the Council of the District of Columbia. The PDF of the issue is available here.

As enacted, B21-0560 raises the renewable portfolio and solar requirements to 50% and 5% by the year 2032, respectively, and adds waste heat from combined and sanitary sewage systems and effluence from wastewater treatment to the list of Tier 1 renewable sources. In addition, the bill increases financial penalties for electricity suppliers who fail to comply with the annual renewable energy portfolio standard requirements. This financial penalty is known as the Alternative Compliance Payment, or ACP. Finally, the bill establishes a program within the Department of Energy and the Environment to assist low-income homeowners with installing solar systems on their homes.

Mayor Bowser Signs D.C. RPS Bill

Posted July 26th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser hosted a press conference yesterday to sign the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Act of 2016. As enacted, B21-0560 raises the renewable portfolio and solar requirements to 50% and 5% by the year 2032, respectively, and adds waste heat from combined and sanitary sewage systems and effluence from wastewater treatment to the list of Tier 1 renewable sources. In addition, the bill increases financial penalties for electricity suppliers who fail to comply with the annual renewable energy portfolio standard requirements. This financial penalty is known as the Alternative Compliance Payment, or ACP. Finally, the bill establishes a program within the Department of Energy and the Environment to assist low-income homeowners with installing solar systems on their homes.

Councilmember Cheh introduced the bill earlier this year, and the Council unanimously passed the bill in late June. The expanded RPS not only increases access to clean energy for D.C. residents, but establishes a long-term pipeline for green jobs and businesses by raising demand for Tier 1 RECs and SRECs. The increased demand will incentivize the continued growth of D.C.’s solar industry, which has grown by 170% over the last year. The chart below summarizes the new RPS and Solar Carve-out schedule by requirement year.
omgomg

The total RPS requirement must be met by Tier 1 Renewable Sources, which includes the new sources added by the Expansion Act. In 2032 and thereafter, the District’s RPS will be set at 50% with a 5% solar carve-out. Please note that, although the SACP Schedule is changing for the 2017+ years from the current schedule, the RPS schedule for years 2017-2023 is unchanged under the Expansion Act. It is not until years 2024 and onward that the RPS requirements are changed by this new law.

Mayor Bowser is confident that the RPS Expansion Act will enable the District’s diverse populations to benefit from solar in a meaningful way. Speaking at her press conference, she said that the District “…will serve 100,000 low-income households by 2032—that’s more than 6,000 homes per year, and we’ll reduce their electricity bills by 50%, as a result. We’ll be creating at least 100 green  jobs in the first year with that number growing every year through 2032. That means reducing carbon emissions, lowering residents’ energy bills, and providing pathways to the middle class through the burgeoning marketplace of clean energy – all at the same time.”

The newly signed legislation is slated to become effective after the Congressional review period.

D.C. RPS Bill Passes Unanimously in Second Reading before the Council

Posted June 28th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

Today, the D.C. Council unanimously passed B21-0650, the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Amendment Act of 2016, on its second reading. Now, the bill will pass to Mayor Bowser, who will have ten days to approve or veto the bill. Following the Mayor’s action, the bill will pass to Congress for consideration for thirty days.

The RPS Expansion Amendment Act of 2016 will increase the RPS and solar carve-out requirements to 50 percent and 5 percent by the year 2032, respectively, and increase alternative compliance payments (financial penalties) for electricity suppliers who fail to comply with RPS requirements. The raised RPS will increase demand for Tier 1 RECs and solar-carve out SRECs. In addition, the bill adds new resources to the list of Tier 1 renewable sources and establishes a program within the Department of Energy and the Environment to assist low-income homeowners with installing solar systems on their homes.

You can read our prior posts on the RPS bill here, and subscribe to our blog to stay up to date on the bill’s progress with the Mayor and Congress.

D.C. RPS Bill Passes in First Reading before the Council

Posted June 7th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

Today, the D.C. Council held its first hearing on B21-0650, the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Amendment Act of 2016. The bill, which was introduced earlier this year, passed unanimously in the first hearing, but must still pass a second hearing in July, and a Council vote as early as mid-July, before it passes to the Mayor for signature.

The RPS Expansion Amendment Act of 2016 will increase the RPS and solar carve-out requirements to 50 percent and 5 percent by the year 2032, respectively, and increase alternative compliance payments (financial penalties) for electricity suppliers who fail to comply with RPS requirements.

You can read our prior post on the RPS bill here, and subscribe to our blog to stay up to date on the bill’s progress with the Council and Mayor.

D.C. Council Committee Holds Public Hearing on RPS Expansion Bill

Posted May 31st, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On May 23rd, Councilmember Cheh held a public hearing on three important energy and climate change bills currently under review by the Council: B21-0650, the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Amendment Act of 2016; B21-0412, the Solar Energy Amendment Act of 2015; and B21-0369, the Commission on Climate Change and Resiliency Establishment Act. The Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Amendment Act of 2016, which was introduced to the Council in March, will increase the RPS and solar carve-out requirements to 50 percent and 5 percent by the year 2032, respectively, and increase alternative compliance payments (financial penalties) for electricity suppliers who fail to comply with RPS requirements. Additional goals of B21-0650, in conjunction with the goals of B21-0412 and B21-0369, aim to facilitate the continued growth of solar and other renewables in the District. Currently, the bills are under review by the Council’s Committee on Transportation and the Environment, which will consider the public comments and written testimony submitted in response to the Public Hearing.

With the public comment period closed, the Committee will move to hold a mark-up meeting as soon as June 1st to consider possible amendments to B21-0650. Following this meeting, the bill should be presented for a hearing on or around June 7th, with a second hearing in July, and a vote as early as mid-July.

For more information on the District of Columbia SREC market, please visit our D.C. market page.

SRECTrade will continue to provide updates on the status of the D.C. RPS bill as it progresses with the Council.

District of Columbia RPS Bill under review by D.C. Council Committee

Posted March 23rd, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On March 1st, 2016, D.C. Councilmember Cheh introduced the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Amendment Act of 2016 (B21-0650) for legislative consideration before the Council of the District of Columbia. On this date, the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, where it remains under review to date. As introduced by Councilmember Cheh, this bill would serve to accomplish four goals:

  • Expand the list of Tier 1 renewable energy sources by incorporating (1) waste heat from combined and sanitary sewage systems and (2) effluence from wastewater treatment;
  • Increase the RPS and solar carve-out requirements to 50 percent and 5 percent by the year 2032, respectively;
  • Increase alternative compliance payments (financial penalties) for electricity suppliers who fail to comply with RPS requirements; and
  • Establish a Department of Energy and the Environment program to help low-income homeowners install solar systems on their homes.

Should the bill be enacted, the combination of increasing the overall RPS and solar carve-out requirements and raising the alternative compliance payments (ACPs) will increase market demand for D.C. solar renewable energy credits (SRECs). Increased demand for SRECs will provide price support for SREC values in the District and will encourage additional growth and adoption of solar in the nation’s capital.

For more information on the District of Columbia SREC market, please visit our D.C. market page.

SRECTrade will continue to provide updates on the status of the D.C. RPS bill as it progresses with the Council.

Congress Passes Extension of Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for Solar

Posted December 18th, 2015 by SRECTrade.

Earlier today, Congress passed the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which includes tax extenders and $1.1 trillion in government funding. The spending package includes a pivotal extension of the federal investment tax credit (ITC) for solar energy. The bill is the result of a bicameral and bipartisan compromise, by which Congressional Democrats pursued the extension of this federal subsidy as partial compensation for lifting the ban on US crude oil exports. At first, Democrats believed that the bill would be a loss for the environment, but Democratic leaders urged their party members to recognize the net benefits of extending support for renewable energy development.

“May the force be with you,” quipped Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), encouraging her fellow Senators to vote in favor of the package just hours after the House passed the bill. The bill passed both chambers of Congress by impressive majorities. The House approved by a 316 to 113 vote, and the Senate approved by a 65 to 33 vote.

While existing law provided the 30% solar ITC through the end of 2016, the extension guarantees 30% through 2019, declining to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021. After 2021, the 10% credit for Section 48 (commercial) projects will remain in place, per existing law. However, the bill includes “commence-construction” provisions that allow projects to qualify if they come on-line by the end of 2023. These extensions will help states to meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard and other renewable energy goals by helping project owners offset the cost of investing in renewable energy. The federal ITC, coupled with additional incentives, such as Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), encourages investment in renewable technologies across the country.

The ITC extension will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the solar industry. Experts project that the extension will increase solar installations by 54 percent (compared to a non-extension scenario) and create a 20 GW annual solar market through 2020. The extension is expected to impact utility-scale solar the most, where installations could increase by as much as 73% through 2020. Comparatively, residential installations are expected to experience a 35% growth, and commercial installations are expected to grow by 51%. This anticipated development will spur economic growth and an anticipated incremental investment of $40 billion in the solar industry.

After proposing an extension of the ITC in his 2016 budget earlier this year, the passage of this bill reinforces President Obama’s inaugural commitment to addressing climate change and protecting the planet for future generations. The bill also follows the historic adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement, which was made at COP21 in Paris earlier this month. Although the Agreement still needs to be adopted by the U.S. Government, the President is resolute that the Agreement will survive Republican opposition and become law. In a statement following COP21, President Obama said that “this moment can be a turning point for the world[,]” and this bill is certainly a step in the right direction for America’s commitment to the new international goal.

DC and MD SREC Market Update Webinar Posted

Posted May 8th, 2014 by SRECTrade.

SRECTrade hosted a webinar on Tuesday, 5/6/2014, outlining the DC and Maryland SREC markets. A recording of the webinar is available by clicking the image below.

A link to a PDF of the presentation can be found here.

DC and MD SREC Market Update: Tuesday, 5/6 @ 2 pm ET

Posted April 28th, 2014 by SRECTrade.

SRECTrade will host a webinar covering the latest pricing and supply numbers for the Washington, DC and Maryland SREC markets.

The webinar is open to the public and will be held on Tuesday, 5/6/14, at 2 pm ET.

Click here to register

DC MD Webinar Screen

Washington, DC Update: Community Net Metering Bill Passed by DC Council

Posted October 11th, 2013 by SRECTrade.

The D.C. Council voted to pass Community Solar legislation on October 1, 2013. First introduced on January 8, 2013  the Community Renewable Energy Act of 2013 (CREA),  promises to lower the barrier for going solar and diversify solar market participants by allowing DC ratepayers to subscribe to power from solar facilities that are not located on their property using Virtual Net Metering. Similar legislation has been passed in states like Maine, California, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Colorado. The bill is expected to be signed by the Mayor later this month and will become effective sometime thereafter.

How this might impact Washington, DC SRECs

DC is currently the only under-supplied SREC market. Approximately 288 MW of solar capacity is required by 2023. The 2013 RPS requirement is approximately 49 MW of which only 28 MW have been registered to date in GATS. Currently DC SREC prices are the highest of any SREC market at $480/SREC in recent transactions. And yet, despite the very rich SREC incentive in the District, build rates have been subdued. By opening up the market to more participants it’s possible that build rates and SREC availability will increase at a faster rate, impacting SREC pricing.

Here’s what’s in the Community Renewable Energy Act of 2013

  • Community Energy Generating Facilities cannot be larger than 5 MW in capacity
  • There can be as few as 2 subscribers to the power produced from eligible facilities
  • Subscriptions cannot be for more than 120% of the subscriber’s 12 month electricity usage
  • Subscriber accounts can only be adjusted once a month
  • Utilities (Pepco) may be able to require all subscribers to be on the same billing cycle
  • The owner(s) of the Community Energy Generating Facility owns the rights to SRECs produced from the power
  • Power production will be tracked by a production meter installed by the Community Energy Generating Facility owner
  • In months where subscribers receive credit for more power than they consume the excess power will be credited towards the next month’s electric bill
  • Excess power credits at the end of the annual cycle (ends in April of each year) will be lost and reallocated to rate payers eligible for the District’s Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Requires adoption of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) interconnection standards within 6 months of the bill’s passage.
  • The District Department of Energy and the District Sustainable Energy Utility are required to develop a proposal within 6 months for an equitable and creative program for financing community net metering projects.