Archive for the ‘Massachusetts’ Category

MA Department of Public Utilities Clarifies Net Metering Regulation

Posted May 25th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

Please note this blog post has been revised from the original May 24, 2016 post.

On Wednesday, May 18th, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) notified the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) of its intent to file its determination that the 1,600 Megawatt (MW) threshold will be met on or about June 1, 2016 and requested that the DPU clarify whether facilities with private cap allocations on or before the “Notification Date” will receive the current net metering credits or the new Market Net Metering Credits. Under the recently enacted Chapter 75 of the Acts of 2016, this determination sets into motion DPU’s charge to establish a “Notification Date”, which will serve as a deadline for systems that are under the private net metering cap to be interconnected or allocated under the cap in order to receive the current net metering credits. Furthermore, the DOER requested that the DPU clarify its Emergency Net Metering Regulations and assure those facilities in receipt of net metering cap allocations on or before the Notification Date that their projects will receive net metering credits at current rates and will not receive Market Net Metering Credits (which are effectively equal to 60 percent of the retail rate). Prior to the DOER’s request, the uncertainty around the Notification Date deadline left private-cap projects in advanced stages of construction at risk of receiving Market Net Metering Credits if they failed to be interconnected by the Notification Date, creating project financing concerns.

In its May 19th Order Clarifying Emergency Net Metering Regulations, the DPU formally recognized that systems obtaining a private net metering cap allocation are “on the path toward interconnection”, since these allocations are assurances that a system will receive net metering services upon authorization to interconnect. In clarifying its policy on net metering credit eligibility, the DPU extended retail rate credit eligibility for projects that receive a private cap allocation by the Notification Date, even if those projects are not yet interconnected. Resultantly, for the duration of the Emergency Net Metering Regulations, Solar Net Metering Facilities that are interconnected or in receipt of a private cap allocation from the System of Assurance by the Notification Date shall receive retail rate net metering credits (that is, Net Metering Credits as defined in 220 C.M.R. § 18.04(1) and (5)).

This interpretation of eligibility will remain in effect only for the effective period of the Emergency Net Metering Regulations, and it is highly probable that the Notification Deadline will be set by the DPU for a date later than June 1, 2016. Following notice by the DOER that the 1,600 MW cap has been allocated, the DPU will solicit comments on the Emergency Net Metering Regulations and related issues, conduct a public hearing, and enact Final Net Metering Regulations effective July 29, 2016. Accordingly, it is possible that the Notification Deadline will be set as July 29, 2016 or possibly later than this date.

In accordance with the Order, facilities under the private net metering cap that fail to meet the Notification Date deadline will receive Market Net Metering Credits. Residential projects 10 kW and smaller on single-phase circuits, or systems under 25 kW on 3-phase circuits, will be exempt from the new rate structure under Sections 7 and 8 of the Act and are guaranteed retail remuneration rates. To be clear, facilities under the public net metering cap will continue to receive net metering credits at the current rates and will not be impacted by this Notification Deadline. For more information on current net metering and other solar legislation in Massachusetts, please visit our previous blog post on the topic here.

Massachusetts Raises Caps; Passes Net Energy Metering Bill

Posted April 17th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On April 11, Governor Baker signed into law Chapter 75 of the Acts of 2016. The law, which was passed with an emergency preamble to have immediate effect, raises the net metering cap by 3% for private and public solar projects and will reduce the current retail remuneration rate to the wholesale rate for commercial and community solar projects once the state hits its 1600 MW solar target. Residential projects 10 kW and smaller on single-phase circuits, or systems under 25 kW on 3-phase circuits, will be exempt from the new rates under Sections 7 and 8 of the Act. Finally, the Act will permit utilities to charge solar project owners a minimum bill to cover their fixed costs.

The immediate effect of the Act will enable the stalled solar industry in Massachusetts to restart in the short term, but the Act is far from a comprehensive solution to establishing long-term, sustainable policies for solar in the Commonwealth. With the new cap estimated to be reached in some territories within a few weeks, the pressure remains on the Legislature to continue discussions on the future of solar in the state.

The Act is the result of compromise between and among the Senate, the House of Representatives, and Governor Baker. Following an impasse of the chambers’ and Governor’s respective bills last summer and into the fall, the Legislature was able to reconcile H.4173 and S.1979, passing the bill in each chamber with nearly unanimous approval. The lone “Nay” was asserted by Rep. Jonathan Hecht (D), who voiced his worry that devaluing net metering credits was a step in the wrong direction for the Commonwealth. “I’m afraid if we do lower net metering rates by that large amount, it means many solar projects simply will not get built[]”, Hecht said.

With the devaluation of net metering rates, stakeholders will expect the value to be made up elsewhere to ensure the financial viability of solar projects. Following the SREC-II Emergency Regulations issued by the DOER last week, it is clear that the DOER is working on the next phase of the state’s solar incentive program to fulfill their obligations under Section 11 of the Act. Sustainable Energy Advantage, LLC (SEA) has been engaged to assist in conducting analysis in evaluation of the next program, and stakeholders will have the opportunity to participate in the design and implementation of the next phase of the program.

Thanks in large part to the state’s net metering policies, former Governor Patrick setting the state’s 1,600 MW target, and the successful SREC-I and SREC-II programs, the robust Massachusetts solar industry now employs more than 15,100 people. Today, the state ranks sixth in installed solar capacity, with more than 1,020 MW of solar installed.

 

Massachusetts SREC-II Emergency Regulation Filed: April 8, 2016

Posted April 11th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On Friday, April 8, 2016 (the effective date), the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (MA DOER) announced it filed emergency regulation with the Secretary of State’s office. The regulation was submitted to address the current uncertainty in the solar industry and facilitate a smooth transition from SREC-II to the next incentive program. Although this emergency regulation is effective immediately, it can only remain in effect for 90 days pending a full DOER rule-making proceeding. Information on next steps in the emergency regulation process is still forthcoming, including public hearings and public comment submission deadlines.

Notably, the emergency regulation implements the following:

  • Extends SREC-II eligibility to all systems greater than 25 kW constructed by January 8, 2017; 9 months from the effective date
  • Extends SREC-II eligibility to all systems less than or equal to 25 kW interconnected by the start of the next incentive program
  • Implements compliance exemption for all electricity supply contracts signed within 30 days of the effective date
  • Ensures SREC-II will run through 2027

In regard to systems greater than 25 kW, the emergency regulation grants Statements of Qualification dated April 8, 2016, to all systems that have an existing Assurance of Qualification or that have submitted an application. The retention of granted Statements of Qualification is dependent on systems demonstrating (1) authorization to interconnect or (2) proof of construction to the DOER by January 8, 2017.

Reiterating the note above, in regard to systems less than or equal to 25 kW, all applications that demonstrate authorization to interconnect by the start of the next incentive program will be qualified under the SREC-II program.

In close, the DOER noted that development of the Commonwealth’s next solar energy incentive program is underway. Sustainable Energy Advantage, LLC (SEA) has been engaged to assist in conducting analysis in evaluation of the next program. Additionally, the DOER will work with market participants to solicit feedback as the program is designed and implemented.

SRECTrade will continue to monitor the status of the emergency regulation and provide updates regarding the future of Massachusetts’s next solar incentive program. We look forward to watching the state continue to structure competitive market based solutions, similar to those previously utilized, to continue its position as a national leader of deploying distributed solar technologies.

End of the line in sight for Massachusetts 2015

Posted March 21st, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On April 15, 2016 the last SRECs of Calendar Year 2015 will be issued for Massachusetts. With the policy climate in flux, it’s important to recall where the market stands for 2015. In short: SREC-I may be slightly oversupplied at ~4.4% to under supplied by ~24.9%. SREC-II is oversupplied by ~65.8%.

Oversupplied or under supplied for MA15 SREC-I?

It is possible the market could be slightly oversupplied. This would be the case if all 2015 issued, 2014 banked, 2014 Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction (SCCA) re-minted, and 2013 SCCA re-minted SRECs were used towards 2015 compliance. Additionally, compliance entities would have to forgo banking any 2015 vintage SRECs for use in 2016 (i.e. up to 10% of the compliance obligation can be banked for future use).

It is possible the market could be under supplied. This would be the case if not all of the 2014 banked, 2014 SCCA re-minted, and 2013 SCCA re-minted SRECs were used towards 2015 compliance, but some were carried forward for 2016 compliance. This is certainly a possibility as many compliance entities may have purchased 2013 and/or 2014 SCCA SRECs with the intention of using them towards compliance in 2015 and/or 2016. Since the SCCA SRECs could be purchased at a fixed priced of $300, it would have been advantageous for a compliance buyer to buy the less expensive SRECs in the SCCA versus paying 2015 or 2016 market prices.

Why is MA15 SREC-II more straightforward?

The last compliance year, 2014, for MA SREC-II was the first year of the SREC-II program. The compliance period was under supplied and as a result no SRECs were deposited into the SCCA. This is why no volumes from prior periods are impacting the SREC-II estimated oversupply.

Current Pricing

As of late, the MA SREC market has experienced less demand for MA2015 SREC-Is and IIs as many compliance buyers have finalized their needs for the year. Note, all SREC retirements need to be made by June 15, 2016. As a result, bid activity has been less frequent and pricing has fallen with MA15 SREC-Is most recently bid $460 and MA15 SREC-IIs most recently bid $262.50.

Screenshot_032516_094743_PM

*Source: NEPOOL GIS. Q4 2015 SRECs issued based on MA DOER installed capacity information and SRECTrade estimates.

Massachusetts SREC-II Solar Capacity Update: March 14, 2016

Posted March 14th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On Monday, March 14th, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) provided another update to the list of SREC-II Qualified Generation Units. Notably, the DOER announced that 15.6 Megawatts (MW) of capacity remains available under the SREC-II program for systems equal to or less than 25 kW DC.

SRECTrade will continue to monitor the current status of the program and provide updates on applications as they become available. As previously announced, on February 5, 2016, the SREC-II program reached its cap for projects greater than 25 kW.

A summary of the current status report can be found below:

Updated

Massachusetts SREC-II Update: March 3, 2016

Posted March 3rd, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On March 3, 2016, SRECTrade hosted a webinar on MA SREC-II. The Webinar included an update on the following:

  • Program Overview
  • Current Status of SREC-II
  • Application Process Review
  • Program Outlook

For access to the slides, please click HERE.

For access to a video recording of the webinar, please click the image below:

This document and recording is protected by copyright laws and contains material proprietary to SRECTrade, Inc. It or any components may not be reproduced, republished, distributed, transmitted, displayed, broadcast or otherwise exploited in any manner without the express prior written permission of SRECTrade, Inc. The receipt or possession of this document 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 these materials is granted, a link to the current version of this document on the SRECTrade website must be included for reference.

Massachusetts Net-metering & SREC Policy discussion with UBS Analyst, Julien Dumoulin-Smith

Posted March 1st, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On Friday, February 26, 2016 UBS Analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith hosted Allyson Browne and Alex Sheets for a discussion on the current state of affairs in Massachusetts regarding solar policy. The slides are available here. The recording is below:

 

UPDATE: UBS published a transcript of the call.

MA SREC-II Update Webinar

Posted March 1st, 2016 by SRECTrade.

SRECTrade will be hosting a webinar this Thursday, March 3rd, at 1:00PM EST. The webinar will cover the current state of the Massachusetts SREC-II program, guidelines for qualifying systems under SREC-II, and general market information.

To attend the webinar click HERE to register. A recording will be made available on our blog for those unable to attend.

Please note, we are currently accepting SREC-II online applications on SRECTrade.com and will continue submitting them to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) in the order they are received. SRECTrade encourages you to submit complete applications for your system as soon as possible, for the best chance of getting enrolled in the remaining SREC-II capacity. Applications submitted to SRECTrade are not guaranteed to be qualified under the SREC-II program due to the rapidly diminishing capacity remaining in the program.

Massachusetts SREC-II Solar Capacity Update: February 18, 2016

Posted February 18th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On Thursday, February 18th, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) provided an update to the list of SREC-II Qualified Generation Units. Notably, the DOER announced that 67.3 Megawatts (MW) of capacity remains available under the SREC-II program for systems equal to or less than 25 kW DC. The DOER has provided information on its Statement of Qualification Application webpage that clarifies the procedure and required documentation for systems equal to or less than 25 kW to obtain an Assurance of Qualification (AQ).

The DOER continues to sort through the applications for projects larger than 25 kW. As previously announced, on February 5, 2016, the SREC-II program reached its cap for projects greater than 25 kW. As of this update, all incomplete applications have been marked as “Returned” in the online Statement of Qualification Application. The DOER has stated that applications that have been returned have to be completed by Thursday, February 25th, to resubmit a complete application to the DOER. SRECTrade is reviewing all returned applications accordingly and will request missing information from our applicants. We will contact you directly regarding the timing of completion. All missing documentation will need to be prepared and submitted as soon as possible in advance of the DOER deadline.

All applications that are still found by the DOER to be incomplete or that are submitted after the deadline will be rejected, and applicants will be required to reapply with a new application. The DOER will provide a status update to all applicants after completing its review of applications that are resubmitted through this process.

SRECTrade will continue to monitor the current status of the program and provide updates on applications as they become available.

A summary of the current status report can be found below:

Screenshot_021816_055210_PM

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.

Blog Post screenshot

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