Posts Tagged ‘DOER’

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.

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.

MA DOER Posts SREC-I Project Extension Guidelines

Posted November 15th, 2013 by SRECTrade.

On November 14, 2013, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) posted the official, final project eligibility extension guidelines for SREC-I (current SREC program) qualified projects >100 kW in size.*

The official extension guidelines can be found here and the DOER’s email announcing the guidelines can be found here.  Without an extension, the deadline for installing SREC-I eligible projects >100 kW is December 31, 2013. Projects are eligible for an extension if they can prove they have incurred 50% of the cost to construct by 12/31/2013. Extension forms must be filed with the DOER no later than January 13, 2014.

*Projects less than or equal to 100 kW DC in capacity do not need to file for an extension. These projects are eligible for SREC-I provided that they can prove interconnection and have submitted complete program Statement of Qualification Applications (SQA) by the day before the effective date of the start of the SREC-II program. It is expected that the effective date of SREC-II will likely occur sometime on or before the end of Q1 2014.

 

MA Department of Energy Resources Update 9/27/13

Posted October 7th, 2013 by SRECTrade.

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) sent out an email update on Friday, 9/27/13, covering the management of the SREC I program and the status of the DOER proprosal for an SREC II program. The email can be found here.

SREC I Project Deadline Extension Guidelines Drafted

Less than or Equal to 100 KW

Facilities 100 kW or smaller that have submitted a Statement of Qualification application must receive authorization to interconnect by the “effective date of a new solar carve-out program established by the Department, or by June 30, 2014,  whichever is earlier.”*

*We had previously stated that systems 100 kW and smaller must be fully interconnected by December 31, 2013 in order to participate in the SREC I program.

Greater than 100 kW

Facilities greater than 100 kW may be installed no later than June 30, 2014 as long as they are demonstrably 50% complete by December 31, 2013.

The DOER is accepting comments on the draft guidelines through Monday, 10/7/2013.  Comments may be sent to doer.srec@state.ma.us with the “Solar Construction Guideline Comments” in the Subject field. The DOER’s draft guidelines can be found here.

SREC II Technical Session

The DOER will hold a technical session on Monday, 10/7/2013 to discuss the SREC II proposal with a team of consultants that the DOER has employed to “conduct studies in support of the SREC II program design.” This team of consultants is charged with creating five reports in support of an SREC II program. Two of the five reports are published and available here.

Technical Session Details:

Monday, 10/7/2013 from 1-3 pm
Gardner Auditorium, Massachusetts State House
Boston, MA
 

2012 Solar Credit Clearinghouse “Last Chance Auction” SREC Purchase Results

Only three SRECs of the 38,863 SRECs deposited in the 2012 Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction (SCCA) were purchased during the auction. Following the auction the DOER offered to purchase all available 2012 vintage SRECs for $285/SREC. The DOER announced that they purchased 36,437 SRECs, leaving 2,426 MA2012 SRECs in the market.

Massachusetts DOER Offers to Buy All Unsold 2012 SRECs after 3 SRECs sell in the Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction

Posted August 2nd, 2013 by SRECTrade.

Participants in the Massachusetts  SREC market waited with bated breath today for the third and final round results of the first MA Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction (SCCA). The SCCA is the hallmark price support mechanism of the Massachusetts SREC market. In over-supplied compliance years, the SCCA is meant to act as a potential last chance for excess SRECs to transact. For more information on the SCCA please see the official DOER page here and previous SRECTrade posts here.

Today, we learned that only 3 out of 38,866 available SRECs were sold. However, the DOER immediately sent an email following the news that they are offering to purchase all remaining 38,863 SRECs for a fixed price of $285 per SREC. The DOER explained its ability to purchase these SRECs on a compliance exemption it provided power suppliers on electricity load already under contract. The adjustment, implemented on June 7, 2013, revised the 2013 compliance requirement upward from 135,495 SRECs to 189,297. The DOER estimates that the incremental compliance obligation exempt from the 2013 adjustment to be approximately 40,000 SRECs.

Effectively the DOER increased the 2013 SREC requirement, but allowed power suppliers the equivalent of a 40,000 SREC exemption from the increase. This exemption is due to the fact that the compliance requirement increase was made retroactively after some power suppliers had already entered into 2013 electricity contracts. Instead of buying the 40,000 exempt SRECs in the open market, the DOER is purchasing SRECs available from the SCCA auction pool. From its email the DOER states that, “World Energy, on behalf of DOER, will directly contact early next week all depositors or their aggregators of this “after-auction” purchase option by DOER, and provide complete instructions on how to opt-in to this opportunity and execute the financial transaction.” Also of note, the DOER is using alternative compliance funds from previous years to cover the cost of purchasing these SRECs. The notice sent to stakeholders did state that that market should not expect the DOER to take this action in any future auction.

 

Massachusetts DOER 400 MW Cap Stakeholder Meeting

Posted June 7th, 2013 by SRECTrade.

Today, the DOER hosted a meeting to address how the current SREC program will be finalized and the implementation of a the state’s next SREC program. The MA SREC market was thrown a curve ball last week when the DOER announced on May 29th that the current SREC program had reached its 400 MW capacity. Many industry participates expected the program to be closed to applicants sometime in 2014. In fact, the DOER planned to announce on June 7th, a process for applicants to ensure project eligibility under the current 400 MW SREC program.

The meeting today outlined the criteria for managing projects that are installed but not listed as eligible under the original application guidelines for the current program and those projects that have applied but are not yet installed.

In addition to today’s meeting, the DOER promulgated rule changes proposed in February of this year (see blog post here). The details of the implemented rules can be found on the DOER’s website here.

Clarifications on project eligibility for the current SREC program

The DOER plans to enact emergency rules for the current 400 MW Solar Carve-out program. The initial outline of those rules are listed below and additional details can be found here on the DOER’s website. A link to the presentation slides from today’s meeting can be found here. We will update updates on these rules as the DOER provides further official clarification.

The DOER is expanding the current program capacity limit to include project applications that meet certain criteria. To do this this they are splitting applications up into two categories based on facility size: 1) projects equal to or less than 100 kW and 2) projects greater than 100 kW.

Projects equal to or less than 100 kW

  • Applications for facilities equal to or less than 100 kW which have an authorization to interconnect approval and have submitted an SQA prior to the effective date of MA’s next solar carve-out program will be provided an SQA. We believe the effective date will be 1/1/2014 at the earliest, but look to the DOER to provide further clarification.

Projects greater than 100 kW

  • Projects that are listed after the 400 MW capacity cap demarcation on the pending SQA list will qualify if they they meet the following criteria: 
    • Fully executed Interconnection Service Agreement (ISA) application dated June 7, 2013 or earlier.
    • Receive an authorization to interconnect by 12/31/2013, or an extension to 6/30/2014 can be applied for if at least 50% of the project budget is spent by 12/31/2013.
    • Projects that can demonstrate interconnection applications have been delayed by the distribution utility can request further extensions. 

Clarifications on the next SREC program

The DOER indicated that the next phase of the Massachusetts SREC market will be a modification of the current program. The Commonwealth has an overall goal of 1,600 MW of installed solar capacity under the current SREC program and the future SREC program. The final size of the next SREC program will be determined by how many facilities meet the criteria for eligibility outlined above for the current program. For example if 500 MW of capacity is approved in the current program, then the next SREC program will allow for 1,100 MW of eligible capacity. The DOER emphasized that the next program’s design will take in to account a goal to minimize the impact of the program on rate rate payers and eventually bring the SREC market in line with the Massachusetts Class I REC market.

To do this the DOER plans to implement a series of key design features based on project location, size, and a new tool that the DOER calls the Adjusted SREC factor. Smaller projects will be granted SRECs that carry an inherently higher value than larger projects. Additionally, it was proposed that a greater SREC factor will be given to projects installed on brownfields and other specially designed zones. The DOER intends to adjust the SREC factor over time for projects as more capacity comes to market and the cost to install decreases.

The DOER also intends to moderate growth by capping the capacity for eligible project applications on a year to year basis using managed growth provisions to throttle supply.

The DOER mentioned that a separate, but similar Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction will provide a price support mechanism. All projects will have a 10 year opt-in term. The price set under this mechanism was not mentioned. The DOER did indicate that it is waiting for the legislature to determine the outcome of H2915, a bill that if passed, would require the distribution utilities to support a minimum SREC price in years where there is an over-supply of SRECs.

Preliminary SACP prices were presented as well. The SACP is the penalty price that electricity suppliers in the MA market must pay if they do not meet their renewable energy compliance requirement with SRECs. The proposed schedule is listed below:

2014: $375
2015: $350
2016 (and beyond): $325

We look to the DOER to continue to clarify the application rules for the current SREC program as well as the general market design and implementation period for the next SREC program. We express some concern over the administrative complexities presented by the proposed SREC II program. It is important that the DOER and stakeholders understand that however the new program is structured, participants should focus on pursuing administrative efficiency in transacting SRECs and managing solar assets. SRECTrade will stay in close touch with the DOER and continue to provide updates on this blog.