It has been an extremely active week for the Massachusetts solar market. The DOER made an important announcement regarding the Solar Carve-Out Program Capacity Cap for the RPS Solar Carve-Out (SREC I) Program, the Solar Credit Clearing House Auction pushed through three rounds before clearing, and the uncertainty surrounding H. 4185 was finally settled by the House in a critical 11th hour amendment to S.2214
SREC I Capacity Cap Released by the DOER
On July 31, 2014, the DOER announced
that the final Solar Carve-Out Program Capacity Cap for the RPS Solar Carve-Out (SREC I) Program is 658.915 MW DC. Pursuant to 225 CMR 14.07(2)(e), this capacity figure will be used to calculate the final 2015 Minimum Standard by no later than August 30, 2014.
2013 Solar Credit Clearing House Auction Clears in Third and Final Round
On August 1, 2014, the third and final round of the 2013 Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction* fully cleared, with bids outweighing available SRECs by 162.5%. The DOER’s announcement can be found here. There were a total of 232,060 bids placed for the 142,786 SRECs that were offered for sale. The final auction results are posted on the DOER’s website.
As reported by the DOER, depositors will receive $285 for every SREC that they deposited into the auction account. Bidders will receive their pro-rata share of the auction volume based on their bid volume. The SRECs purchased through the auction are eligible to be used for compliance in 2014, 2015, or 2016.
*The SCCA consists of three distinct “rounds” or opportunities for buyers to purchase SRECs at a fixed price. The incentive to purchase the SRECs increases with each round. A more complete description of SCCA can be found here.
Clients of SRECTrade who were successful in the SCCA should expect to receive confirmation of the sale sometime next week, after the SCCA Operator and Manager has confirmed the sale with SRECTrade.
SREC-II Continues Ahead – H. 4185 quashed, caps raised in an Amendment to S.2214
On the last day for Formal Sessions in the 2014 Legislative Session, the Massachusetts House attached a rider to S.2214‘s Amendment 1, H.4385 to address the net energy metering caps and the future of the state’s solar incentive structure. Ultimately, the legislation increased the state’s net metering caps to allow for continued growth of the MA solar industry while keeping in place the state’s successful SREC program under the new SREC-II incentive structure.
The Amendment was sponsored by the House Committee on Ways and Means after the controversial H.4185 failed to make it out of the committee as a result of the conflicting pushback that the Committee received from stakeholders of the solar industry. For additional information on H.4185 and perspectives to amend the legislation please visit www.competitivesolar.org.
In relevant part, the rider made the following amendments to lift the cap on public projects from 3 percent to 5 percent of a utility’s total power generation, while the cap for private projects would rise from 3 percent to 4 percent: “SECTION 5. Subsection (f) of section 139 of chapter 164 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 68, the figure ‘3’ and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 4.
SECTION 6. Said subsection (f) of section 139 of chapter 164, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 70, the figure ‘3’ and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 5.” Additionally, H.4385 would create a task force “to review the long-term viability of net metering in the commonwealth and develop recommendations on incentives and programs that will support the deployment of [Governor Deval Patrick's stated goal of installing] 1600 MW of solar generation facilities in the commonwealth [by 2020].” The task force would “convene its first meeting on or before October 1, 2014, and shall submit its report, along with any recommendations for legislative or regulatory reforms, on or before March 31, 2015,” providing for ample opportunity for stakeholder input and public commentary.
As of August 1, 2014, the House and the Senate have both enacted S.2214. Governor Patrick will still need to sign the bill into law.