Archive for the ‘Massachusetts’ Category

Final SMART Program Regulation Promulgated

Posted August 25th, 2017 by SRECTrade.

On Friday, August 25th, 225 CMR 20.00 Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program was promulgated in the State Register. The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) posted the final version filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office to their website. The DOER announced that the final, promulgated version will be made available as soon as possible.

Following the promulgation of this regulation, the DOER anticipates that the electric distribution companies will jointly file a model tariff at the Department of Public Utilities (DPU), which will initiate a fully adjudicated proceeding at the DPU.

For more information on the final version of the SMART Program regulation, please visit our previous blog post on the topic here.

MA DOER Files Proposed Final Version of SMART Program Regulation

Posted August 11th, 2017 by SRECTrade.

On Friday, August 11th, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced that it has filed its proposed final version of the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program regulation 225 CMR 20.00 with the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office. The DOER anticipates the final version will be published in the State Register on August 25, 2017, “with minimal to no changes”. The final but unofficial version of the regulation can be found on the DOER’s “Development of the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program” website here.

100 MW Procurement

Following comments regarding the initial 100 MW Procurement, which will be used to establish Base Compensation Rates for all participating SMART Solar Tariff Generation Units, the following changes were made to program design:

  • Each Distribution Company will issue one procurement for all projects sized 1 – 5 MW
  • All facilities in the procurement will be subject to a Ceiling Price of $0.17/kWh ($170.00/MWh)
  • Procurement results will establish unique Base Compensation Rates for the first Capacity Block of each individual Distribution Company, rather than establishing a single statewide Base Compensation Rate
  • The Base Compensation Rate for the first Capacity Block will equal the mean bid price received in each Distribution Company’s service territory

Compensation Rate Adder Caps and Rate of Decline

In its regulation filed on June 5, 2017, the DOER implemented an adder cap of 320 MW for each individual Compensation Rate Adder in an effort to “place boundaries around overall program costs”. In response to comments regarding these adder caps, the following changes were made:

  • Adder caps are eliminated
  • Each Compensation Rate Adder will decline by 4% for every capacity tranche established, and the Adder will not decline as Capacity Blocks are filled. The first capacity tranche for each Adder will equal 80 MW, with future segment sizes established by the DOER as they are filled

Project Segmentation

Following comments regarding the rules set forth by the DOER around parcel limits and project segmentation, the following modifications were made:

  • Added Canopy Solar Tariff Generation Units to allowable exceptions to rules, allowing canopies to be sited on same parcel as a Building Mounted Solar Tariff Generation Unit
  • Allow Solar Tariff Generation Units to be sited on adjacent parcels if owners can demonstrate to the DOER’s satisfaction that they are unaffiliated parties
  • Allow Solar Tariff Generation Units to span multiple parcels if located behind a single interconnection point, single meter, with a nameplate capacity of 5 MW or less
  • Added language to exempt projects from project segmentation rules if the applicant can demonstrate that necessary qualification documents were obtained by June 5, 2017
  • Added language that allows the DOER to exempt projects from project segmentation rules for good cause on a case by case basis

These project segmentation rules were initially established to prevent Solar Tariff Generation Units from manipulating program rules for their own financial benefit.

Land Use and Performance Standards

The DOER has also set forth rules to ensure that land use is considered when siting projects through the differentiation of incentive levels based on project location. In response to comments regarding these rules, the following changes were made:

  • Removed certain special provisions for Agricultural Solar Tariff Generation Units from the regulation; instead, these provisions are detailed in a separate Guideline
  • Added definition and special provisions for Floating Solar Tariff Generation Units, with an associated $0.03/kWh Compensation Rate Adder
  • Added language to exempt projects from being subjected to Greenfield Subcontractors if the applicant can demonstrate that necessary qualification documents were obtained by June 5, 2017
  • Classified all land that had been previously categorized as Category 1 Land Use, regardless of zoning
  • Clarified aspects of the performance standards requirements

Other

In response to other comments received by stakeholders, the DOER also instituted the following changes:

  • Modified definitions of Community Shared Solar Tariff Generation Unit, Low Income Community Shared Solar Tariff Generation Unit, and Low Income Property Solar Tariff Generation Unit to clarify that Units will qualify as such if taking advantage of the alternative on-bill credit
  • Established a 35% per Capacity Block limit on the quantity of facilities with a nameplate capacity of less than or equal to 25 kW
  • Added language prohibiting capacity expansions, with specific exceptions
  • Provided further clarity regarding customer disclosure forms and added requirements regarding forms to special provisions for Community Shared Solar Tariff Generation Units and Low Income Community Shared Solar Tariff Generation Units
  • Modified timing of initial competitive procurement
  • Modified formula for calculating the incentive payments for Behind-the-Meter Solar Tariff Generation Units to be the sum of the three-year average of Basic Service Charges, in addition to current Distribution, Transmission, and Transition charges
  • Other technical updates and clarifying modifications

The DOER will notify stakeholders when the regulations have been published in the State Register in final official form.

MA Global Warming Solutions Act Regulations Promulgated

Posted August 11th, 2017 by SRECTrade.

On Friday, August 11th, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) published six final regulations to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions in the Massachusetts Register. These regulations follow the Supreme Judicial Court’s May 17, 2016 ruling in Kain v. DEP and Governor Baker’s September 16, 2016 Executive Order No. 569 (“Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth”) to help ensure compliance with the 2020 statewide emissions limit established by the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA).

The six regulations and amendments include:

  • 310 CMR 7.72: Reducing Sulfur Hexafluoride Emissions from Gas-Insulated Switchgear (amended)
  • 310 CMR 7.73: Reducing Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Distribution Mains and Services (new)
  • 310 CMR 7.74: Reducing CO2 Emissions from Electricity Generating Facilities (new)
  • 310 CMR 7.75: Clean Energy Standard (new)
  • 310 CMR 60.05: Global Warming Solutions Act Requirements for Transportation (amended)
  • 310 CMR 60.06: CO2 Emission Limits for State Fleet Passenger Vehicles (new)

For more information on these regulations, including Fact Sheets, please visit the MassDEP website on the topic.

MA Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction Result Announcement

Posted July 24th, 2017 by SRECTrade.

On July 24th, 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced that all of the MA2016 SREC-Is and SREC-IIs submitted to the auction account were transacted in the first round of the Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction (SCCA). A total volume of 195,464 SREC-Is were bid on across 34 unique bidders, creating more than sufficient demand to clear the available auction volume of 18,428 SREC-Is.

The SREC-II auction followed suit, with a total bid volume of 303,956 across 11 unique bidders outweighing the available auction supply of 243,377 SREC-IIs.

DOER and EnerNOC are in the process of certifying and finalizing the auction results. More information will be made available on the SCCA auction page in the coming weeks.

If SRECTrade submitted SRECs to the SCCA on your behalf, we will provide further notice on the status of your transaction once the DOER and EnerNOC provide us with finalized auction results.

Massachusetts DOER Preliminary 2018 Compliance Obligation Announcement

Posted July 20th, 2017 by SRECTrade.

On Wednesday, July 19th, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced the preliminary Minimum Standards and Compliance Obligations for 2018 Solar Carve-out (SREC-I) and Solar Carve-out II (SREC-II). The DOER notes that these numbers only represent preliminary estimates and final numbers will be released no later than August 30th.

SREC-I

Based on current load capacity projections, the DOER estimates that the 2018 Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard for the SREC-I Program will be approximately 838,995 MWh and  1.7903%, respectively, for load served under contracts on or after June 28, 2013.  If the 2017 SREC-I auction does not fully clear, these values will be increased to 857,423 MWh and 1.8296%, respectively.

For load served under contracts executed before June 28, 2013, the 2018 Minimum Standard will be 1.1411%.

SREC-II

The DOER estimates that 2018 Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard for the SREC-II Program will be 1,347,902 MWh and 2.8762%, respectively, for load served under contracts before May 8, 2016. If the auction does not fully clear, these values will be increased to 1,591,279 MWh and 3.3955%.

To calculate this baseline Minimum Standard and Compliance Obligation, the DOER first determined the expected MWh/year that would have resulted had the SREC-II Program Capacity Cap remained 947.7 MW by:

  1. Identifying the percentage share of MW capacity currently qualified under each SREC-II Market Sector;
  2. Multiplying these percentages by the original 947.7 MW SREC-II Program Capacity Cap;
  3. Multiplying these totals by (1) their respective SREC Factors, (2) a 13.71% expected capacity factor, and (3) 8,760 hours/year.

The DOER then summed these values and combined the remaining auction volumes and banked SREC-II volume from the 2016 Compliance Filings resulting in a total baseline Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard.

In addition, the DOER estimates the Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard for load contracts signed after May 8, 2016 to be 1,923,743 MWh and 4.1049%. respectively. If the auction does not fully clear, these values will be increased to 2,167,120 MWh and 4.6242%, respectively.

The official announcement can be found here.

H1 2017 SREC Pricing, Presented by Market Insights

Posted July 5th, 2017 by SRECTrade.

The first-half of 2017 was a dynamic period in the SREC markets. SREC prices experienced 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.

Please see the Year in Review video here:

 

Massachusetts Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction Announcement – Summer 2017

Posted June 21st, 2017 by SRECTrade.

On June 16th, the DOER formally announced that they would conduct Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auctions (SCCA) for both the SREC-I and SREC-II programs.

EnerNOC Inc. posted the Auction Notice and Qualification Application for this year’s SCCA to the Auction Announcement Website. The SCCA is a market mechanism that allows for any leftover SREC supply from the previous compliance year to be sold to buyers. In years of oversupply, the DOER will consider the total volume of SRECs submitted to the SCCA, as well as the success of the auction in clearing those volumes, in their decision to increase the RPS demand for future compliance years.  Since there will be a SCCA for compliance year 2016, we know that the 2018 obligation will be adjusted higher.

Price

This year’s fixed price for buyers is set at $300 for both SREC-I and SREC-II. After the DOER administration fee, sellers will receive a net amount of $285 per SREC. Beginning next year, the SREC II SCCA price will begin to decrease while the SREC I price will remain at $300.

Volume

The volumes of certificates available for purchase through each auction are as follows:
MA16 SREC I: 14,405 certificates
MA16 SREC II: 234,057 certificates

Tiers

The auction will consist of two tiers:

The first tier (Tier I) includes all natural compliance buyers. Up to 50% of the total auction volume will be reserved for Tier I bidders. If demand exceeds the 50% benchmark, awards will be made on a pro-rata basis. If there is insufficient demand from Tier I bidders, the remaining SRECs will be made available to Tier II bidders.

The second tier (Tier II) of bidders include all other entities, including Tier I entities with unfulfilled bids from Tier I. After Tier I awards have been given, the remaining SRECs will be allocated to Tier II bidders on a pro-rata basis.

Key Dates & Bidder Webinar Registration

  • Wednesday, June 21, 2017 – Bidder webinar to review auction process and the Qualification Application
    • To register for the webinar please follow this link
  • Wednesday June 28, 2017 – Bidder Qualification Application due
  • Monday, July 24, 2017 – First auction takes place

We will keep you posted with any new updates ahead of the auction, and the results of the auction as soon as they are made publicly available.  Feel free to reach out to your coverage on the SRECTrade brokerage desk to discuss any questions you may have about the upcoming auction.

 

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DOER Files SMART Program Emergency Regulation

Posted June 5th, 2017 by SRECTrade.

On Monday, June 5th, the MA Department of Energy Resources (DOER) filed an emergency regulation to implement the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program. The regulation is directed toward supporting the development of an additional 1,600 MW of solar energy generating facilities via a declining block program.

Although the emergency regulation takes effect immediately, it can only remain in effect for three months. The emergency regulation is a placeholder, pending a full rulemaking proceeding conducted by DOER, at which time the final program rules will be established. Following the conclusion of the DOER’s rulemaking process, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will need to conduct a proceeding for the DPU’s approval of the tariffs filed by the Electric Distribution Companies. Only after this rulemaking and proceeding take place will the SMART program be in effect. Accordingly, the SREC-II program remains in effect for all eligible solar facilities.

As a result of this implementation schedule, it is expected that solar facilities will be eligible to qualify for the SREC-II program through the end of Quarter 1, 2018.

For more information on the SMART program, please feel free to reference our last blog post on the topic here. The DOER’s official notice regarding this emergency regulation is available here.

Massachusetts SREC-II Update – April 2017

Posted April 21st, 2017 by SRECTrade.

In the last month we have two new and important pieces of information. On March 13, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) updated the list of projects with a Statement of Qualification (SQA) and NEPOOL-GIS published the 2016 year-end SREC supply figures. Since our last update in SREC-II, the DOER announced that projects lacking an extension from DOER would lose their SQA. However, such projects are allowed to re-apply for an SQA with the understanding of the lower SREC factors. Please see the full presentation of data and analysis here.

Based on the latest information, we see the total installed & operational capacity in SREC-II is 812 MW, with an additional 1,076 MW qualified but not yet operational:

MA SREC-II qualified-capacity-over-time

With the year-end figures on SREC-II supply coming in at 556,510 we can better estimate the extent of over-supply for the year. Note that while the supply figures are out for the year, we won’t see the aggregate demand figures for a few weeks still. Using 2015 figures as a proxy, we estimate an oversupply of 282,802 MA16 SREC-IIs:

MA16 SREC-II srec-oversupply

With such a large surplus of SRECs, we’re certain to see a Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction (SCCA) this summer. Recall that the DOER will accept SRECs until June 15 before initiating the Clearinghouse Auction towards the end of July. During that interval, the DOER will announce the 2018 Minimum Standard, which may increase if the SCCA does not clear by Round 2:

www_mass_gov_eea_docs_doer_renewables_solar_srec-presentation_pdf

Source: DOER

DOER Announces Final SREC-II Factor Guidelines

Posted March 27th, 2017 by SRECTrade.

On Thursday, March 23rd the DOER provided an update on the finalized SREC-II program SREC Factors for projects over 25 kW that have not previously qualified for an SREC-II extension.

All SREC-II facilities that have a Statement of Qualification (SQA), but have not yet received an extension, will have their SQAs rejected. New applications may be submitted for these facilities, however, to seek an extension under these new guidelines. Any extension granted will be effective until March 31, 2018 at the following factors:

new-market-factors

Please note that SREC-II systems with a capacity equal to or less than 25 kW will still receive an SREC Factor of 0.8, so long as they receive their authorization to interconnect before the effective date of the SMART program.

Facilities eligible for the extension are those that have not already received either a mechanically complete or 50% construction cost extension; facilities that can demonstrate that they are mechanically complete or commercially operational by March 31, 2018 will receive their respective SREC Factor listed above.