Archive for the ‘Massachusetts’ Category

Massachusetts 2015 SREC-I obligation announced

Posted July 8th, 2014 by SRECTrade.

Today, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced preliminary numbers for the 2015 SREC-I obligation. Assuming no changes, the 2015 SREC-I obligation will be 909,837 SRECs. The announcement can be found here.

 

In Massachusetts, the SREC compliance obligation, the amount of SRECs power suppliers are required to purchase in any given year, is determined by a formula that takes in to account the amount of SRECs to be generated, SRECs banked from previous periods, and the number of SRECs deposited and purchased in the Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction (SCCA). For the 2013 compliance period, 138,685 SRECs were deposited in the SCCA. If the SCCA does not clear in the first or second round, the preliminary 2015 compliance requirement will increase by a multiple 2 times the number of deposited SRECs. The first round of the 2013 SCCA will begin on Tuesday, July 29, 2014. For more information on the SCCA and the auction schedule click here.

For more details on how the 2015 compliance obligation was calculated click here: Preliminary Determination of CY 2015 Total Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard

The table below demonstrates the 2015 compliance obligation if the SCCA clears in the first or second round or if the auction goes to the third round:

2015 Compliance Obligation

UPDATE: The DOER revised the 2015 SREC-I Minimum Standard percentage numbers on July 10, 2014. The DOER did not adjust the SREC compliance numbers. Original email can be found here. Please see the revised percentages below.

2015 Revised Compliance Percentage

Mass. DOER Seeks Stakeholder Input on Residential Solar Loan Program Design

Posted June 27th, 2014 by SRECTrade.

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) recently announced a plan to solicit stakeholder input regarding the implementation of a Residential Solar Loan Program.  The goal of this program is to provide homeowners with access to solar loans while providing new business opportunities for local lenders. This new program is anticipated to launch in the fall of 2014.

Feedback will be solicited during three public stakeholder meetings hosted by the DOER.  The time and locations of these meetings are as follows:

Eastern Massachusetts
Monday June 30th,  10am – 12pm, Conference Room C & D, Second Floor, 100 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA

Western
 Massachusetts
Tuesday July 1st, 1pm – 3pm, Dining Commons, 1 College Drive, Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, MA

Central Massachusetts
Wednesday July 2nd, 10am – 12pm, Weiss Room, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, 75 North Drive Westborough, MA

To RSVP for a meeting please email: (emma.krause@state.ma.us )

A copy of the official announcement letter can be found here.

MA DOER Solar Stakeholder Meeting Recap

Posted June 11th, 2014 by SRECTrade.

Today, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (MA DOER) and representatives from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), New England Clean Energy Council (NECEC), and the Massachusetts regulated utilities presented their legislative proposal to address lifting solar net metering caps.

What This Legislation Covers

While the issue at hand is solar net metering, the bill also addresses several other areas, including the following:

  • Shifting the state’s successful, competitive Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) incentive program to a declining block incentive program centrally administered by the MA regulated utilities (note SREC-I and SREC-II would be left in place as is. New capacity under SREC-II could be qualified through 2015);
  • Restructuring the rules associated with behind the meter, virtual meter, and non-net metered “merchant” projects; and
  • Implementing a minimum bill, regardless of electricity used, for all regulated utility customers.

Unknown Aspects To Be Determined

Under the current version of the legislation, pricing for the declining block incentive program has not yet been set. It is proposed that the, “declining block values will be established through a DOER stakeholder process and DPU adjudication and will consider differential economic needs of various market sectors”. Additionally, “the amount of the minimum bill will be set in a DPU proceeding”.

Moving Forward

At this point, the bill is subject to a legislative process. The state’s Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (TUE) is expected to move to refer a version of the legislation out of committee by Friday, June 13th. From there it is believed to be reviewed by the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. If this legislation were to move forward, it would then need to be moved to the floor of the senate or the house, passed, referred to the other side of the legislature and passed, and then signed into law by the Governor.

For access to the latest draft of the legislation click here. For a summary of the points as prepared by the MA DOER click here.

If you would like to influence the legislative process, we suggest you reach out to the TUE or Ways and Means committees and express your thoughts. Additionally, for a directory of MA legislators click here.

This process remains fluid with more information and updates forthcoming. We’ll continue to provide updates on our blog as they are available.

DOER Solar Stakeholder Meeting June 11th from 2-4pm at Federal Reserve Bank Boston

Posted June 10th, 2014 by SRECTrade.

Last Friday, the DOER released a joint-proposal made by regulated utilities in Massachusetts and a small group of solar industry stakeholders to lift the Massachusetts net metering caps in exchange for the end of the Massachusetts SREC program in 2015. The DOER will host an open stakeholder meeting to discuss the legislative proposal on Wednesday, June 11th from 2:00 – 4:00 pm ET at the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston (600 Atlantic Ave).

To attend Wednesday’s meeting you must RSVP by emailing doer.srec@state.ma.us with the subject “June 11th RSVP”. Government issued ID must be presented at entry.

Below are PDF links to both the draft legislation and the DOER’s own highlights of the legislation’s salient points.

Steven Eisenberg (CEO) and Alex Sheets (Director of Environmental Markets) will represent SRECTrade at the meeting.

Massachusetts SREC-II Launches, Official Filing Posted

Posted April 30th, 2014 by SRECTrade.

The Massachusetts SREC-II program officially launched on Friday, April 25th. The official filing can be  found here and program guidelines are here. However, the application window for the new program does not open until May 6th. Any applications submitted to SRECTrade prior to May 6th will be processed with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) starting on May 6th.

Once a facility receives a Permission to Operate (PTO) from its interconnecting utility, SREC-II applications should be submitted using SRECTrade’s online application. Applicants may also apply for an Assurance of Qualification from the DOER provided that the application meets certain criteria outlined in the “How to apply in the Assurance of Qualification with SRECTrade” section below. The DOER’s official guidelines for Assurance of Qualification are here.

Key highlights of the MA SREC-II program

  1. MA SREC-II system owners can actively market offers to sell SRECs. Contact us directly to help facilitate any orders.
  2. The total capacity of the SREC-II program will be determined after the final SREC-I capacity is announced; by July 31, 2014 (i.e., 1,600 MW less Total SREC-I qualified capacity)
  3. Facilities are separated by Market Sectors based upon facility type, size and other characteristics. See below.
  4. Market Sector eligibility determines the ratio of SRECs issued relative to power produced. See below.
  5. Facilities greater than 650 kW DC in capacity, that are not eligible for other Market Sectors, fall under the Managed Growth sector.
  6. Unlike other Market Sectors, the Managed Growth sector is capped year over year. The 2014 capacity limit is 26 MW. The 2015 capacity limit is 80 MW.
  7. Facilities are eligible to apply for an Assurance of Qualification (i.e., a place in the SREC-II program assuming other future criteria are met) without first obtaining a Permission to Operate (PTO). This is most relevant for systems that fall under Managed Growth.
  8. Given the limited capacity of the Managed Growth sector, we recommend that impacted facilities apply for an Assurance of Qualification. It is expected that this capacity will be filled quickly.

Click here for a PDF of slides (complete with program definitions) and here for a link to a recording of our webinar covering the launch of SREC-II. Below is the summary of the various SREC-II Market Sectors:

Market Sectors and Factors

How to Apply for an Assurance of Qualification with SRECTrade

You may apply for an Assurance of Qualification using SRECTrade’s online application starting Tuesday, May 6th. If you would like to submit the Assurance of Qualification documentation prior to May 6th, please contact us directly.

What’s Required to Submit an Assurance of Qualification?

Assurance of Qualification applications require the same information needed for a Statement of Qualification application. Additionally, the information detailed below is also required and must be uploaded to SRECTrade’s online application form.

  1. An executed Interconnection Service Agreement (ISA), as tendered by the distribution company;
  2. Adequate site control (a sufficient interest in real estate or other contractual right to construct the Unit at the location specified in the Interconnection Service Agreement); and
  3. All necessary governmental permits and approvals to construct the Unit with the exception of ministerial permits, such as a building permit, and notwithstanding any pending legal challenge(s) to one or more permits or approvals.

Please note, SREC-II Assurance of Qualifications will be filled based on date of application submission. The ISA date of execution will serve as a tie breaker for applications submitted on the same day, and if the ISA date is the same for multiple applicants, the DOER will utilize a lottery process to determine the queuing position of the Assurance of Qualification application. Additionally, the DOER has provided preliminary guidance that the first week of Assurance of Qualification submissions will be treated as if they were submitted on the same day. For example, date of submission from May 6th through May 13th, will not be used to determine receipt of Assurance of Qualification. Rather, the ISA will be the first determining factor.

Also, the DOER has been recommending that projects outside of the Managed Growth category do not need to submit an application for Assurance of Qualification. There will be plenty of room under the SREC-II cap and it is not necessary during the initial stage of the program. Lastly, smaller residential and commercial projects (i.e., 25 kW and less) will likely be provided room under a future provision as the program gets close to meeting its cap.

For applications related questions

Allyson Umberger
Director of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel
allyson.umberger@srectrade.com
(415) 763-7790

For brokerage related questions

Alex Sheets
Director of Environmental Markets
alex.sheets@srectrade.com
(802) 989-2617

For installer related questions

Sam Rust
Director of Business Development
sam.rust@srectrade.com
(415) 729-3546

Other contacts

Steven Eisenberg
Chief Executive Officer
steven.eisenberg@srectrade.com
(415) 702-0863

Tom MacKenty
Associate, Environmental Markets
tom.mackenty@srectrade.com
(415) 409-8537

 

Massachusetts SREC-II Intro Webinar Posted

Posted April 22nd, 2014 by SRECTrade.

SRECTrade hosted a webinar on Monday, 4/21/2014, outlining the MA SREC-II program. A recording of the webinar is available by clicking the image below.

A link to a PDF of the presentation can be found here. The slides contain additional market sector and other SREC-II legal definitions not included in the original webinar presentation.

Massachusetts SREC-I Application Deadline is this Thursday, April 24, 2014

Posted April 21st, 2014 by SRECTrade.

The final deadline for submitting completed SRECTrade applications for Massachusetts SREC-I program qualification is Thursday, 4/24/2014.  Please note that SRECTrade’s application deadline for SREC-I eligible systems was April 4, 2014. The Massachusetts deadline for SREC-I applications is April 24, 2014, but we cannot guarantee that applications submitted to SRECTrade after April 4, 2014 will be submitted to the DOER before the April 24th deadline for SREC-I eligibility.

Completed applications must be submitted online at www.srectrade.com and include the following documents:

Final “Permission to Operate (PTO)” from the interconnecting utility

Signed “Massachusetts Renewable Energy Certificates Purchase Agreement

Signed “Registration Consent” form

The Massachusetts SREC-II effective start date is Friday, 4/25/2014. Applications for facilities that are not yet qualified under SREC-I will be processed as SREC-II applications with the effective start of the SREC-II program.

SREC-II Regs Filed – SRECTrade Webinar: Monday, 4/21 @ 2 pm ET

Posted April 11th, 2014 by SRECTrade.

On Friday, 4/11/2014, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources formally announced the submission of revisions to the Massachusetts RPS Class I regulations which set aside and define the Massachusetts SREC programs. As expected, the revisions call for the effective start of the next MA SREC program (commonly referred to as SREC-II) on 4/25/2014. A link to the announcement is here. SRECTrade will host a webinar covering the start of the MA SREC-II program on Monday, 4/21/2014 at 2 pm ET.

Webinar registration is open to anyone. Please register for the webinar by clicking this link or the image below.

The MA-SREC II program is the next iteration of the Massachusetts solar initiative to reach 1,600 MW of installed solar capacity. Massachusetts sited solar facilities that are not yet qualified for the SREC-I program by April 25th will be subject to the rules of the new SREC-II program. This webinar will cover the mechanics of SREC-II and adjustments made to the SREC program application process.

We look forward to seeing you on the webinar!

MA SREC-II blog image

SREC-II Announcements from the DOER – March 17, 2014

Posted March 19th, 2014 by SRECTrade.

On March 17th, 2014, Stakeholders in the Massachusetts DOER’s Solar Carve-Out received an email with two key announcements regarding the proposed revisions to the RPS Class-I Regulation.

1)    That last week, the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy submitted their comments to the DOER on the proposed revisions. These comments were broken up into nine items, which are summarized below.

2)    That the draft of the Solar Carve-Out II Program’s Assurance of Qualification Guideline was released for public comment and review. This is particularly relevant to systems that are qualified under the “Managed Growth” market sector. The DOER will be accepting comments on the draft Guideline through March 28, 2014. All comments should be emailed to DOER.SREC@state.ma.us and should contain the subject line “Assurance of Qualification Guideline Comments.”

Summary of the Committee’s comments:

Item 1: Price Volatility

Following the initial boom in solar development, spurred on by SRECs trading near the Alternative Compliance Price, SREC prices have dropped significantly. The Committee believes that the Managed Growth concept will be a useful “tool for reducing volatility in the market which should benefit both retail electric suppliers and solar facility owners.”

Item 2: Cost

The Committee supports the 1600 MW solar goal by 2020, but believe it is “important that the program is designed to achieve its goal at low costs” to the consumers. Gradually lowering the ACP and Clearinghouse Auction-II fixed prices reduces the risk of high cost to ratepayers funding these programs.

SREC Factor: Different factors to different market segments in order to more accurately match costs for each of these segments. “Considering the falling costs of solar,” committee members “encourage the DOER to review the SREC Factor Guideline even earlier than…March 31, 2016.”

Competition Imperative to Assure Low Costs: With its Guidelines, the DOER has left the possibility for competition open. The committee believes that “competition can be effective at lowering costs.”

Achieving Transmission and Distribution (T&D) Benefits to Maximize Cost Effectiveness: There is little incentive for solar growth at locations on the distribution grid that would provide maximum benefit to the grid, and ultimately ratepayers. The Committee Encourages the DOER to work closely with solar developers, utilizing tools such a solar maps, and to advocate for integrated distribution programs, which could lower total program costs.

Item 3: Equity Between Market Sectors

Under SREC-I, ground and roof projects were worth the same, but the latter cost significantly more per unit of capacity. SREC Factor helps correct the bias towards the larger systems.

Item 4: The Solar Carve-Out and Net Metering

The committee “hopes that…Solar Carve-Out II…[takes] into account the limitations on aggregate net metering capacity.” Additional changes may be necessary “to continue the growth of solar in Massachusetts.”

Item 5: Third-Party Ownership versus Direct Ownership

Though “Third-Party Ownership structures have provided…homeowners, businesses, municipalities and other government entities…with access to solar and lower energy costs,” the committee also recognizes the benefits of homeowners and businesses owning their systems outright. The committee strongly supports the DOER’s ACP-funded financing program to “help address barriers to direct ownership.”

Item 6: Class I RPS Eligibility for non-SREC GIS Certificates

SREC Factor ostensibly limits the demand for SRECs associated with the installed capacity target by generating a set portion of an SREC per megawatt-hour. However, the committee sees no reason why the portion of solar electricity that does not fall under Solar Carve-Out II Renewable Generation Attributes also does not fall under RPS Class I Renewable Generation Attributes.

Item 7: Restricting Market Sector C to a Single Parcel of Land

The section stating that arrays with a capacity less than 650kW are also eligible for Market Sector C does not specify that this capacity should be measured as the total capacity of Solar Carve-Out II units on a single parcel of land. The committee believes there ought to be such a provision: without one, larger projects that should be restricted to managed growth may inappropriately be able to access Sector C.

Item 8: Access to Solar for Non-Profit Institutions

Although non-profits make up 15% of the Commonwealth’s employment, “less than 3% of solar projects have been developed by or on behalf of non-profits.” The DOER should institute changes to the proposed regulations or to the SREC Factor guidelines to help remedy this discrepancy.

Item 9: Pre-2010 Solar Systems

Although early-adopters of the commonwealth rebate program may have received larger rebates than late-comers, many of these aggregators “have abandoned their solar REC aggregation” due to the scarcity of Class I REC-generating facilities in Massachusetts, and consequent difficulty of selling their attributes. The committee would like to the DOER consider offering Solar Carve-Out I or II eligibility to pre-2010 systems.

Further/In-depth reading:

The Original Email

DOER’s website

The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy’s full comments 

RPS Solar Carve-Out II Assurance of Qualification Guideline

DOER Draft of SREC-II Regulations

The Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard – Class I

 

 

 

 

DOER Submits SREC-II Proposal to the Massachusetts Legislature

Posted February 20th, 2014 by SRECTrade.

On Thursday, February 13th, the DOER announced that a new draft of the Massachusetts RPS Class I Regulations 225 CMR 14.00 was formally submitted to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy for review. The draft contains key language for the creation of the touted SREC-II program. Please find the announcement letter from the DOER here. The filing is available here. Given this step and further formal review requirements that the revised regulations must undergo over the next few weeks, it is our understanding that the SREC-II program will likely become effective  in early Q2 2014.

The DOER’s letter also clarifies that non-operational projects qualified under SREC-I may not also be qualified under SREC-II, without first withdrawing SREC-I qualification.