Archive for the ‘Massachusetts’ Category

Massachusetts SREC-II Solar Capacity Update: February 5, 2016

Posted February 5th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On Friday, February 5, 2016, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced that the total capacity available under the SREC-II Program Capacity Cap for projects larger than 25 kW DC was reached. As of the announcement, the DOER received applications for 854 MW of capacity. This exceeds the current cap for projects greater than 25 kW by more than 193 MW. While it is unclear if all of the submitted facility applications meet the eligibility criteria to qualify under the SREC-II program, the DOER confirmed that all applications for projects larger than 25 kW DC submitted on or before February 1, 2016 were received before the program cap was reached. The DOER noted that they cannot guarantee applications received after February 1, 2016 were submitted prior to the cap being met. For more information, the DOER publicly updates the full details on capacity in SREC-II under the “Qualified Projects” section of their SREC-II current status webpage.

The DOER will continue to review applications and queue them accordingly to the guidelines provided in Section 4(B) of the Assurance of Qualification Guideline. After the DOER confirms that 660.595 MW DC of capacity have been issued Statements or Assurances of Qualification, the DOER will provide further direction for applicants that submitted applications after February 1, 2016, to inform them of their queue status. At this time, the DOER will publish the Waiting List on its website.

SRECTrade, Inc. is continuing to submit applications in the order in which we received them, and will provide additional updates from the DOER as they become available. Below is the summary SREC-II capacity information made available by the DOER as of February 1, 2016.

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We published a detailed analysis on MA SREC-II supply and demand on January 19, 2016. Click here for more information.

Massachusetts SREC-II Solar Capacity Update: February 1, 2016

Posted February 3rd, 2016 by SRECTrade.

Monday, February 1, 2016, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) provided an update on the current status of the Solar Carve-Out II program (SREC-II). At the time the Small Generation Unit set aside was formally announced in early January 2016, there was roughly 371.1 MW of capacity left under the SREC-II program – 120 MW for Small Generation Units under 25 kW, and roughly 250 MW for projects greater than 25 kW.

Since this announcement, a significant amount of capacity has been filled in both the small and large generation unit categories. The  recent DOER update indicated that 94.6 MW of capacity still remains to be filled for Small Generation Units, while only 22.8 MW of capacity is still remaining for larger projects.

In the DOER’s report, they acknowledged that 2.8 MW of applications are “Under Review” for Small Generation Units, while 119.5 MW of applications are “Under Review” for larger projects. This status indicates that these applications have not received full approval from the DOER and are still in their processing queue. The summary made available by the DOER is shown below:

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For further information, the DOER provides the full details on capacity in SREC-II under the “Qualified Projects” section of their SREC-II current status webpage.

We published a detailed analysis on MA SREC-II supply and demand on January 19, 2016. Click here for more information.

Massachusetts SREC-II Update: January 2016

Posted January 19th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

Last Friday, SRECs generated in Q3 of 2015 were issued to all qualified asset owners in the Massachusetts SREC-I and SREC-II programs. The additional liquidity brought to the market helped refocus attention on the MA SREC program after the beginning of the year was dominated by action in the New Jersey market. Given the renewed attention to the Massachusetts markets we have adjusted our capacity models to reflect the most current supply and demand figures.

Our most recent MA SREC-II capacity presentation can be found here.

As compared to our last MA Capacity Update, the Trailing Six Month (TSM) average build rate is only marginally higher at 18.7 MW/mo as compared to the Trailing Twelve Month (TTM) 17.8 MW/mo. The greatest contrast is between the three months ending in September 2015 and December 2015, with asset developers installing twice as much SREC-II eligible capacity over the summer as what was installed in the fall.

Using these updated numbers we can begin to predict the degree of over or under supply in the upcoming year. Due to the methodology employed by the MA DOER we already know what the 2016 compliance requirement will be.  We can also use the most recent year to date build (YTD) rate, 17.9 MW/month, as our base-case assumption for future 2016 build. What is important to add to this analysis, however, is the 120 MW carve out that the MA DOER announced in their most recent bulletin. Of the total 946.2 MW of SREC-II eligible capacity (1,600 MW of total covered capacity less the 658.3MW covered by SREC-I) we know that 575.1 MW have already been qualified for SREC-II. This leaves 371.1MW still available for new construction, however we now know that since we have passed the 60% threshold of total SREC eligible capacity, 120MW of that remainder will be reserved for projects less than 25KW. This leaves just 251.1MW for larger scale projects under the current program.

Holding our most recent YTD build rate (17.9 MW/mo) constant and using the previously set 2016 compliance obligation, we see the MA SREC-II market finishing 2015 oversupplied by 78,957 SRECs and 2016 oversupplied by 226,537. These figures are equivalent to 64.4% and 69.2% oversupplied, respectively. Slide 8 of our MA SREC-II presentation also illustrates potential upper and lower bounds for 2016 build rates, set at 75% and 150% of 2015 YTD average monthly build. Across all scenarios we project that the market will finish 2016 oversupplied, somewhere between a range of 56.7% to 81.7%

As always, this analysis is informational only in purpose in order to help explain the implications of recently reported MA SREC-II eligible build rates. We will continue to watch the markets closely and stay on top of new MA capacity data as it is updated by the Massachusetts DOER.

 

Disclaimer. This document, data, and/or any of its components (collectively, the “Materials”) are for informational purposes only. The Materials are not intended as investment, tax, legal, or financial advice, or as an offer or solicitation for the purpose or sale of any financial instrument. SRECTrade, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the market data or other information included herein, as to its completeness, accuracy, or fitness for a particular purpose, express or implied, and such market data and information are subject to change without notice. Past performance should not be taken as an indication or guarantee of future performance, and no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding future performance. Any comments or statements made herein do not necessarily reflect those of SRECTrade, Inc. SRECTrade, Inc. may have issued, and may in the future issue, other communications, data, or reports that are inconsistent with, and reach different conclusions from, the information presented herein.

Copyright. This document is protected by copyright laws and contains material proprietary toSRECTrade, Inc. This document, data, and/or any of its components (collectively, the “Materials”) may not be reproduced, republished, distributed, transmitted, displayed, broadcasted or otherwise disseminated or exploited in any manner without the express prior written permission ofSRECTrade, Inc. The receipt or possession of the Materials does not convey any rights to reproduce, disclose, or distribute its contents, or to manufacture, use, or sell anything that it may describe, in whole or in part. If consent to use the Materials is granted, reference and sourcing must be attributed to the Materials and to SRECTrade, Inc. If you have questions about the use or reproduction of the Materials, please contact SRECTrade, Inc.

 

MA DOER Announces Solar Carve-Out II Small Generator Set-Aside

Posted January 12th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

Nearly two years after its launch in April 2014, the MA Solar Carve Out-II (SREC-II) program is steadily approaching the 1600 MW capacity cap. As successor to the SREC-I program, the SREC-II program has provided market-based incentives to support solar photovoltaic (PV) development in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The SREC-II program was designed to support 946.2 MW of installed capacity (1600 MW less the final 653.8 MW capacity installed under the SREC-I program). The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) included provisions in the SREC-II program to establish set-asides for Small Generation Units when sixty percent of the program’s capacity had been allocated. As of January 4, 2016, the DOER has qualified or approved 575.1 MW (over sixty percent) of SREC-II’s capacity, leading them to revise the Assurance of Qualification Guideline and formally announce a 120 MW set-aside for systems with nameplate capacities of 25 kW or less.

With more than 575 MW of qualified capacity to date, there is roughly 370 MW left until the program reaches capacity. The 120 MW set-aside for Small Generation Units leaves approximately 250 MW for all other systems to be qualified under SREC-II. The DOER announced that, once it issues Assurances of Qualifications and Statements of Qualification (SQA) for a combined 1,480 MW of capacity under the SREC-I and SREC-II programs, all applications for projects larger than 25 kW will be queued on a waiting list for available program capacity. As a reminder, the waiting list for prospective SREC-II systems is prioritized by the date on which the complete and correct SQA was submitted. Applications submitted on the same day are then prioritized by the execution date of the system’s Interconnection Service Agreement. In the event that two or more complete SQAs are submitted on the same day and with identical Interconnection Service Agreement dates, the DOER will finalize the queue through random selection.

In addition to establishing the Small Generation Unit set-aside, the DOER also clarified in its revised guideline: (1) what constitutes a complete SQA, (2) the procedure for qualified generation units to withdraw their Assurance of Qualification, and (3) the correction process and timeline for applications that are found to be incomplete upon submission.

In light of the program hitting its sixty percent capacity mark, facility owners and managers should be prepared to submit applications as the SREC-II program nears its final capacity. SRECTrade will continue to monitor and report on the status of the SREC-II program and provide information about successive programs. The combined success of the SREC-I and SREC-II programs in supporting distributed solar PV development suggests that the implementation of a third SREC program will further bolster the MA distributed solar industry. Issuing SRECs to solar PV system owners for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of solar energy they generate has helped MA become a national leader in solar.

To view the original notice from the DOER click here.

DOER and MassCEC Launch New Mass Solar Loan Program

Posted January 5th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

Prior to the close of 2015, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) announced their launch of the Mass Solar Loan program. The program is intended to encourage solar development by offering low-interest loans to residents and property owners. Mass Solar Loan provides access to financing options for homeowners and renters with moderate incomes or low credit scores. The DOER will provide policy and program oversight of the program, and the MassCEC will serve as the program’s Central Administrator. The Mass Solar Loan program is funded by $30 million of alternative compliance payments (ACPs) from the state’s Renewable Energy Credit (REC and SREC) programs. The Mass Solar Loan Program Manual provides a comprehensive description of the program.

The program offers three primary financial incentives for Massachusetts residents to go solar. One of these incentives is a three percent reduction in the standard annual interest rate charged by participating lenders. This “Interest Rate Buy Down” is offered to all solar system owners, regardless of income. Another feature is the “Loan Loss Reserve”, which gives lenders additional motivation to work with system owners who have a low credit score. The third primary incentive is income-based loan support for consumers with annual household incomes at or below $80,240. Qualifying consumers can have the solar loan program pay a percentage of their loan principal upon project completion. Incentive rates are 30% of the loan value for annual household incomes below $66,866 and 20% of the loan value for household incomes between $66,866 and $80,240.

The MassCEC provides information pertinent to consumers and homeowners, solar installers, and banks and credit unions. This information details how all interested parties can apply for participation in the Mass Solar Loan program.

2015 SREC Pricing – Year in Review

Posted December 24th, 2015 by SRECTrade.

2015 was a dynamic year 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 Governor Baker Releases Net Metering Bill to Rival Senate Bill

Posted August 13th, 2015 by SRECTrade.

Shortly before its summer recess, the Massachusetts Senate passed Amendment 18 to S. 1973 in a voice vote on July 23. Two weeks later, on August 7, 2015, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker released a net metering bill to rival S. 1973.

Both the Senate Bill and the Governor’s Bill address the net metering caps that are currently causing a slow-down in the Commonwealth’s solar development, and look to former Governor Patrick’s goal for the Commonwealth to install 1,600 megawatts of solar energy in Massachusetts by 2020. Earlier this year, the Baker-Polito Administration announced its support of the goal to achieve 1,600 MW by 2020. Accordingly, both S. 1973 and the Governor’s Bill propose to raise the net metering caps to meet the goal of 1,600 MW by 2020.

Under Amendment 18 to S. 1973, the Senate calls for raising the caps to 1,600 MW, and eliminating the caps thereafter (the elimination of the caps would apply to solar net metering facilities, with the exception that the maximum amount of generating capacity eligible for net metering by a municipality or other governmental entity shall be 10 megawatts), but the bill would do little else to change the value of a net metering credit. In addition to addressing the caps, the Amendment calls for Massachusetts regulators to “develop a solar incentive program to encourage continued development of solar…” with the goal of “develop[ing] a sustainable long-term framework that effectively balances promoting clean energy and costs to ratepayers,” to be implemented after the 1,600 MW target has been reached. Unfortunately, the Senate bill also attempts to limit the potential options for future programs, without much consideration for allowing the stakeholder process to consider all of the policy options presented by the Task Force in its Final Report (see below).

In contrast, Governor Baker’s Bill would substantially reduce the value of net metering credits in the Commonwealth. For solar projects over 10 kW on single phase, or projects over 25 kW on 3-phase, the value of net metering credits will be the average monthly clearing price in ISO-NE (that is, the wholesale retail rate). This would be a drastic change from the current value, which includes the value of all wires charges, such as distribution, transmission and transition charges. For other specific facilities, including municipal or other governmental entity (“MOOGE”) facilities, facilities for low-income off-takers and community shared solar facilities, the value of net metering credits will be based on the utility’s basic service kW charge, and will also exclude wires charges. The result of this exclusion in both categories is the value of credits being cut nearly in half. But like the Senate Bill, the Governor’s Bill also calls on Massachusetts regulators to “establish a solar incentive program for the development of distributed solar generation beyond 1,600 [MW] by solar photovoltaic facilities connected to a distribution or transmission system, which shall be a statewide program.”

Both the Senate Bill and the Governor’s Bill draw upon the recommendations from the Net Metering and Solar Task Force. The Net Metering and Solar Task Force was a group established last fall by the Massachusetts Legislature under Ch. 251 of the Acts of 2014, Section 7. The Task Force was responsible for reviewing the “long-term viability of net metering and develop recommendations on incentives and programs to support the deployment of 1600 MW of solar generation facilities in the commonwealth.” In its Final Report, the Task Force encouraged the Commonwealth to develop a solar incentive framework that would satisfy eight different program attributes, including promoting the orderly transition to a stable, equitable and self-sustaining solar market, and relying on market-based mechanisms and/or price signals as much as possible to set incentive levels such that the program would be readily adaptable to changing market conditions, all while minimizing costs, incentivizing diverse development, and promoting investor confidence. The Task Force cautiously qualified its recommendations by stating that “[t]he selection of a path for modeling is not an indication that a majority, or indeed any, of the Task Force members would like to see that path implemented,” and encouraged the DOER and DPU to lead a “comprehensive and transparent solar benefit/cost study to determine the value of impact of solar in Massachusetts” so that the Massachusetts Legislature, DOER, and DPU could more thoroughly evaluate the options presented by the Task Force, including the potential for an SREC III program to follow the highly successful SREC I and SREC II programs.

When the Legislature returns from its summer recess this Fall, the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utility and Energy will be confronted with the formidable task of reconciling these rival bills alongside the recommendations from the Net Metering and Solar Task Force, in order to help shape the future of solar in Massachusetts.

MA SREC-I Update: 2016 Demand and 2014 SCCA Clears Round 1

Posted July 28th, 2015 by SRECTrade.

Over the past couple days, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has released a couple important announcements.

MA2016 SREC-I Compliance Obligation

Yesterday, July 27, 2015, the DOER released the 2016 SREC-I preliminary compliance obligation. The details of the email can be found here.

The preliminary obligation for the 2016 compliance year has been set at 845,519 SRECs. The MA DOER noted that the requirement will be finalized and announced no later than August 30, 2015. Additionally, it was stated that the requirement, “will more than likely lead to an undersupply of the SREC-I market in 2016″. The DOER also specifically noted that the undersupply for MA2016 SREC-Is has no impact on the MA SREC-II market.

For more information on the calculation of the MA2016 SREC-I requirement visit the DOER website and the detailed calculation document.

Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction Clears in Round 1

Today, July 28, 2015, the DOER announced the results of the Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction (SCCA) for MA2014 SREC-I vintage Solar Renewable Energy Credits. Available for sale were 124,831 MA2014 SREC-Is at a fixed price of $300/SREC to all buyers; a price of $285/SREC to sellers. The auction hosted 55 unique bidders with a total bid volume of 1,113,789 SRECs, almost 9.0x the amount of SRECs available for sale. More information about the SCCA can be found on the DOER’s website.

MA Solar Development Slow Down Likely as Net Metering Caps are Hit

Posted March 22nd, 2015 by SRECTrade.

This blog post is based on the post available at www.solarisworking.org.

In mid-March 2015, the net metering cap for public projects was hit in the National Grid territory (see red box in chart below). The Commonwealth’s legislatively-mandated net metering caps are based on each utility’s historical peak megawatt energy demand. Effective November 4, 2014  net metering caps were set at 4% for “private” projects and 5% for “public” projects of each utility’s historical peak demand, out of line with the state’s 1600 MW solar target. Representing 45% of total net metering capacity in Massachusetts, National Grid also services a region of Massachusetts where it is easier and less expensive for developers to find suitable sites for solar, but Unitil and NGrid-Nantucket are not far behind in hitting the caps in either the private or public sector. The outlier is the NStar (now EverSource) territory, where it is more difficult and more expensive to find suitable sites for solar.

As the caps across the state’s utilities are hit, new solar projects will no longer be eligible to earn retail credit for the excess power returned to the grid. Instead, they will be credited for any excess power at roughly a third of the retail rate. This decreased benefit would render many solar projects financially unviable. Although residential systems 10 kW or less and many commercial systems 25 kW or less are exempt from net metering caps, community shared solar and larger solar projects are not. As a result, development activity for these projects is expected to come to a halt unless the legislature raises the caps. Several bills have been filed this year to address the need to raise net metering caps in order to meet the Commonwealth’s 1600 MW solar target, and the future of the Commonwealth’s solar industry hangs in the balance as the Legislature reviews the bills on its table.

03202015 caps

Source: Massachusetts System of Assurance of Net Metering Eligibility. The data provided below reflects the best available estimate at the time of access of capacity (kW) interconnected, reserved, and pending that is receiving, or eligible to receive, net metering services. The accuracy of this data set is limited as adjustments to outstanding Applications for Cap Allocation may occur at any time. Data and aggregate figures included in this report should be used for informative purposes only. Verified updates provided in the Application Activity and Remaining Capacity Report will continue to be available on a weekly basis, each Wednesday. Posted 3/20/2014.

 

If you want to voice your support to raise the net metering caps, here’s what you can do:

  • Tell Governor Baker to support solar in Massachusetts.
  • E-mail or call your state legislators and ask them to raise net metering caps and to support the continuation of the successful SREC program in Massachusetts.
  • Find out who your elected officials are here.
  • Look up and track legislation here.

 

Visit The Official Website of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to learn more about net metering.

 

MassSolar Launches “Solar Is Working” Website

Posted March 13th, 2015 by SRECTrade.

On Monday, March 9th, MassSolar proudly announced the launch of their new website, www.SolarIsWorking.org. MassSolar is a collaboration of Massachusetts solar business, solar owners, environmental advocates, community organizations, and motivated citizens dedicated to advancing progressive solar policy Massachusetts. As a versatile resource hub catering to the diverse solar community, MassSolar seeks to achieve modernization and maximization of efforts in the Massachusetts solar sphere while specifically focusing on expansion of the state’s solar economy.

The intuitive site provides its users with a variety of resources useful for installers, residential PV system owners, legislators, and the curious alike.  In addition to market reports and factsheets, the site offers a blog that will host contributions from stakeholders across the Commonwealth’s solar community.  MassSolar intends for the site to serve as a platform for discussions surrounding a home’s solar potential, the Net Metering and Solar Task Force proceedings, as well as legislation impacting the state’s solar industry.

MassSolar’s website also provides fun, yet informative, segments for the less solar savvy such as “10 Things About Solar Energy” and “Solar Stories,” a compilation of anecdotal evidence that highlights the advantages of solar programs in Massachusetts and the efficacy of current statewide programs.  To share your solar story, please send it to info@solarisworking.org.