Posts Tagged ‘DOER’

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.

 

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 to SRECTrade, 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 of SRECTrade, 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.

Massachusetts SREC-II Update – January 2017

Posted January 23rd, 2017 by SRECTrade.

Over the last month the market received both a new list of SREC-II qualified projects as well as more precise information on Q3 SREC generation. As such, we have updated our capacity models to reflect the new information.

Please find our updated capacity presentation here.

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) recently published their periodic update on registered SREC-II capacity on December 12, 2016, and Q3 2016 SRECs were issued on January 15th, 2017.  These data points provide more precise information around the current build rates and the exact amount of SRECs currently available for sale, but the data simply confirms the widely known fact that MA16 SREC-II is indeed heavily oversupplied.

Given an oversupply from 2015 of 66,372 SRECs, plus the 441,890 SRECs issued in Q1, Q2 and Q3 of 2016 (Q3 generation was 190,526), we are left with a total of 508,262 SRECs already created.  That alone leaved the market 49% over the exempt-load obligation for 2016.  Using the trailing twelve month average for new capacity added per month, we add another 143,887 SRECs as an estimate of Q4 production to bring us to a grand total of 652,149 SRECs created in 2016.  This represents a 312,069 SREC oversupply, or approximately 92% of the 2016 compliance obligation.

ma16-srec-ii-sd

We expect the DOER to publish an updated qualified project list in the near future.  Additionally, we expect more information in the coming weeks on the status of the SREC-II extension program.  As either of those updates come available we will be sure to pass on all relevant information.  As always, feel free to reach out to your SRECTrade sales coverage for any questions or comments.

 

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 to SRECTrade, 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 of SRECTrade, 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 SREC-II Extension Webinar

Posted December 13th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

Earlier today, SRECTrade hosted a webinar covering the current state of the Massachusetts SREC-II program, key deadlines for qualifying systems under SREC-II, and SRECTrade application processes.

The application window is currently open for all MA systems, regardless of size, although qualification deadlines are approaching. Please feel free to reference SREC-II Extension Application Instructions HERE.

For access to the presentation slides, please click here: MA SREC-II Extension Webinar. To view 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.

MA DOER Seeking Comments on Next Generation Solar Incentive Straw Proposal

Posted October 25th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On September 23, 2016, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) presented its Straw Proposal to outline its vision for the next solar incentive program for the state. The DOER is proposing to shift away from the state’s successful SREC program, which has created one of the largest and most robust solar markets in the country.

Under the DOER’s proposal, a declining block feed-in-tariff would be established in regulated utility territories, and a separate program would be created for municipal light districts. Moving away from the current market-based framework will impose a substantial transition burden and introduce new costs to participants. The shift to a completely different program will have a negative impact on the viability of the solar industry in the interim and poses uncertainty moving forward.

Massachusetts has installed more than 1,200 MW of operational solar capacity to date and was ranked 2nd in the nation in total solar industry employment in 2015. Replacing the current market-based framework with a declining block feed-in-tariff will not only be costly to all stakeholders, but it will also fail to satisfy the DOER’s objective to “provide clear policy mechanisms that control ratepayer costs and exposures”. By imposing this new and complicated model, the DOER will force the state’s many market participants to manage, understand, and abide by multiple programs at once. This will undoubtedly increase soft costs and increase administrative burden across the industry.

In contrast, establishing an SREC-III program would allow the state’s solar industry to continue relying on a market-based policy to set incentive levels and forge ahead on its path to a stable, equitable, and self-sustaining solar market. By making adjustments to SREC factors, market sectors, the SCCA and SACP, the Commonwealth can continue to benefit from the successful SREC model and preserve the progress it has made since SREC-I was implemented six years ago.

SRECTrade encourages all stakeholders in the Massachusetts solar market to submit comments in support of a smooth transition to another successful SREC program. Comments can be submitted to the DOER via email at DOER.SREC@state.ma.us and must be submitted by this Friday, October 28th.

DOER Announces Final 2017 Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard

Posted September 1st, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On Wednesday, August 31, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced the final 2017 Solar Carve-out (SREC-I) and Solar Carve-out II (SREC-II) Compliance Obligations and Minimum Standards. This announcement follows the results of the SREC-I and SREC-II Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auctions.

Notably, this announcement differs greatly from the preliminary announcement in July. In particular, the DOER announced that the final SREC-II Minimum Standard for load under contracts signed prior to May 8, 2016 is 2.0197% (969,635 MWhs), reduced from 2.2960% (1,102,311 MWhs).

Solar Carve-out (SREC-I)

The DOER has determined that the 2017 Compliance Obligation for the SREC-I program will be 783,183 MWh and that the Minimum Standard will be 1.6313%. The 2017 Minimum Standard for load under contracts signed before June 28, 2013 will be 0.9861%. The Determination of the CY 2017 Total Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard, published by the DOER, outlines how this Minimum Standard was calculated.

SREC-I Min Std

Solar Carve-out II (SREC-II)

The DOER has also calculated the 2017 Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard for the SREC-II program, which are 1,374,406 MWh and 2.8628%, respectively. The DOER outlined how this preliminary Minimum Standard was determined in its “CY 2017 Calculation of Minimum Standard Guideline”.

SREC-II Min Std

Since all Retail Electricity Suppliers are exempt from additional obligations resulting from the expansion of the SREC-II Program Capacity Cap, the DOER established a baseline Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard for load under contracts signed on or prior to May 7, 2016. The DOER’s calculation of the Final 2017 Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard were similar to its calculation of the Preliminary 2017 Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard (detailed here), but used 825 MW as the capacity that it expects would have been in operation had the SREC-II Program Capacity Cap not been expanded. The DOER used the 825 MW value to reflect its estimate of the generation facilities that would be qualified and operational by the end of the year – a significant reduction from the original 947 MW projection.

Using the 825 MW estimate, the DOER determined a total baseline Compliance Obligation of 969,635 MWhs and a Minimum Standard of 2.0197%. These two figures are significantly less than their counterparts from the preliminary 2017 Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard, which were 1,102,311 MWhs and 2.2960%, respectively.

SREC-II Obligation Chart

The latest Solar Carve-Out II Qualified Units report (updated on August 25) identified nearly 575 MW of capacity as qualified and operational under the SREC-II program. Comparing the 825 MW figure that the DOER is targeting to the existing 575 MW, the market would need to more than double the Last Twelve Months (LTM) monthly average build-rate (30 MW) to reach that threshold.

For more information on the July announcement of the Preliminary 2017 Compliance Obligation, please visit our blog post on the topic.

MA DOER Announces Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction Results

Posted July 29th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

Today, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced that both of the 2015 Solar Carve-out (SREC-I) and Solar Carve-out II (SREC-II) auctions have fully cleared in the first round.

Preliminary results for the SREC-I auction included 41 unique bidders submitting a total bid volume of 49,886 – more than sufficient demand to clear the available auction volume of 1,898 SRECs. Similarly, the results for the SREC-II auction included 9 unique bidders submitting a total bid volume of 112,252, which cleared the available auction volume of 67,046 SREC-IIs.

SCCA Auction Results3

The DOER and EnerNOC continue to certify and finalize the auction results, and will publicize more details on the final results on the SREC-I and SREC-II auction webpages next week.

MA DOER Announces Preliminary 2017 Compliance Obligation

Posted July 25th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

Friday, July 22, 2016, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced the preliminary 2017 Solar Carve-out (SREC-I) and Solar Carve-out II (SREC-II) Compliance Obligations and Minimum Standards. Customarily, the DOER estimates these values prior to administering the Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction each year. The final 2017 Minimum Standards will be announced on or before August 30th, after both the SREC-I and SREC-II Auctions have concluded.

Solar Carve-out (SREC-I)

Notably, the DOER projects that the final 2017 Compliance Obligation for the SREC-I program will be approximately 783,181 MWhs and that the Minimum Standard will be approximately 1.6313%. These values will be increased to 785,077 MWhs and 1.6352%, respectively, if the SREC-I auction does not fully clear in the first two rounds. The 2017 Minimum Standard for load under contracts signed before June 28, 2013 will be 0.9861%.

The DOER published a resource outlining its calculation of the preliminary SREC-I Minimum Standard.

Preliminary 2017 Compliance Obligation SREC-I Table

Solar Carve-out II (SREC-II)

Regarding the SREC-II Program, the DOER established a baseline Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard that would have applied to Retail Electricity Suppliers had the RPS Class I Emergency Regulation not been filed on April 8, 2016; these suppliers are exempt from any additional obligations resulting from the expansion of the SREC-II Program Capacity Cap.

To calculate this baseline Minimum Standard, the DOER first determined the expected MWh/year that would have resulted had the SREC-II Program Capacity Cap remained 947 MW by:

  1. Identifying the percentage shares of MW currently qualified under each SREC-II Market Sector;
  2. Multiplying these percentages by the original 947 MW SREC-II Program Capacity Cap;
  3. Multiplying these totals by (1) their respective SREC Factors, (2) a 13.51% expected capacity factor, and (3) 8,760 hours/year.

The DOER then summed these values and combined the auction volume and banked SREC-II volume from the 2015 Compliance Filings, resulting in a baseline Compliance Obligation of 1,102,311 MWhs and a Minimum Standard of 2.2960%. These values will be increased to 1,169,357 MWhs and 2.4357%, respectively, if the SREC-II auction does not fully clear in the first two rounds.

Preliminary 2017 Compliance Obligation SREC-II Table 2

Additionally, the DOER calculated the preliminary 2017 SREC-II Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard for load under contracts signed after May 8, 2016 – 1,496,188 MWhs and 3.1164%, respectively. These values will be increased to 1,563,234 MWhs and 3.2561% if the SREC-II auction does not fully clear in the first two rounds.

Preliminary 2017 Compliance Obligation SREC-II Table

The DOER also published a resource outlining its calculation of the preliminary SREC-II Minimum Standard.

Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auctions

The first rounds of the SREC-I and SREC-II Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auctions are scheduled for July 29, 2016. A second and third round will be held as needed the following week should these auctions not fully clear.

The DOER has also provided slight updates to the volumes of SRECs available in the Auctions: 1,896 in SREC-I and 67,046 in SREC-II.

SRECTrade will continue to monitor the proceedings of the Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auctions and will report the outcomes of the Auctions once the results become readily available.

Massachusetts Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction – Summer 2016

Posted July 7th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On July 6th, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced that EnerNOC Inc. has posted the Auction Notice and Qualification Application for this year’s Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction (SCCA) to the Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC-I and SREC-II) Auction Announcement Website. The SCCA serves as a price support mechanism for the Massachusetts SREC programs. In over-supplied years (when more SRECs are available than required), buyers are incentivized to purchase SRECs through the SCCA, if they believe that the SCCA price is at or below the potential future price of the SRECs. You can read more about the SCCA here. The 2016 SCCA is scheduled to begin on Friday, July 29th.

SREC Volume

This year, the DOER will conduct Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auctions for both SREC-I and SREC-II certificates. The volumes of certificates available for purchase through each auction are as follows:

MA15 SREC-I: 1,898 certificates
MA15 SREC-II: 66,440 certificates

Multi-tiered Auction

The auction will be divided into two tiers of bidders. The Tier I bidders will consist solely of Retail Electric Suppliers with Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) compliance obligations. Up to fifty percent (50%) of the total auction volume will be reserved for Tier I bidders. If bid demand exceeds fifty percent (50%) of the total auction quantity, awards will be made on a pro-rata basis. If there is insufficient demand, each bid received will be awarded and the remaining quantity of SREC-I and SREC-IIs will be made available to Tier II bidders. Tier II bidders consist of all entities, including any Tier I bidders with unfulfilled bids from Tier I. The remaining auction quantity after the Tier I awards have been made will be allocated on a pro rata basis to all Tier II Bidders, as has been done in all prior auctions.

Minimum and Maximum Financial Security Requirements

The separation of Retail Electric Suppliers from Non-Retail Suppliers also stands in the auction’s Minimum and Maximum Financial Security Requirements. For only the SREC-II Auction, all Non-Retail Electric Suppliers without RPS compliance obligations must post at least $10,000 in financial security to participate in the SREC-II Auction. For both the SREC-I and SREC-II Auctions, Retail Electric Suppliers with RPS compliance obligations will be credited an amount of security commensurate with the volume of electric load that they served in 2015. Both Retail Electric Suppliers posting above their credited security and Non-Retail Electric Suppliers without RPS compliance obligations can post an amount no greater than the amount required to purchase ten percent (10%) of the total auction volume. Non-Retail Electric Suppliers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts without RPS compliance obligations cannot bid on and will not be awarded SREC-I or SREC-IIs in excess of ten percent (10%) of the total auction volume.

Key Dates & Bidder Webinar Registration

Friday, July 8, 2016 – Bidder webinar to review auction process and the Qualification Application
To register for the webinar, click here.
Wednesday July 13, 2016 – Bidder Qualification Application due
Friday, July 29, 2016 – First auction takes place

Questions regarding the SCCA can be directed to the Auction Manager email account at: masrecauctionmanager@enernoc.com.

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 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.