California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Market Overview and Pricing

Posted March 18th, 2019 by SRECTrade.

Overview

Pursuant to the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32), Executive Order S-01-07 of 2007 called for a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) to reduce the carbon intensity (CI) of California transportation fuels by 10% by 2020, from a 2010 baseline. The Order instructed the California EPA to develop a compliance schedule and directed the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to initiate regulatory proceedings to implement the program. CARB approved the LCFS regulation in 2009. Implementation and the first year of compliance began in 2011. Revisions to the program were made at the end of 2011 and took effect in 2013. Due to a court ruling that found procedural issues with the original adoption of the program, the program targets were effectively frozen from 2013 – 2015 until CARB re-adopted it in 2015. In January 2019, CARB amended the LCFS regulations and increased the carbon intensity reduction goal to 20% by 2030. An LCFS Credit is issued per 1 metric ton (MT) of CO2 equivalent reduced.

Other states and territories (i.e. Oregon and British Columbia) on the western seaboard of North America have followed in California’s footsteps and implemented LCFS programs of their own. As compliance standards continue to build, these programs hope to stimulate greater regional synergy in lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

Quick Facts

Compliance Obligations

The LCFS applies to the sale or supply of any fuel in California. Fuel producers and importers are the primary regulated parties. Regulated parties that exceed the maximum CI compliance limit may meet compliance by purchasing credits that are issued to regulated parties with an average CI that is below the maximum CI compliance limit. The LCFS enforces a declining CI curve every year to ensure the continuous reduction of the transportation fuel industry’s environmental impact. The chart below reflects the compliance schedule of average CI that needs to be meet for each respective baseline fuel type.

California Carbon Intensity Compliance Schedule; Source: California Air Resources Board (CARB)
Source: California Air Resources Board (CARB)

Pricing

Source: California Air Resources Board (CARB) as of March 10, 2019

SRECTrade’s Clean Fuels Management Services

SRECTrade provides EV charging networks, fleet operators, original equipment manufacturers, and independent EV charging station owners comprehensive fuel credit registration, management and monetization services. We make it easy to register, manage and navigate the regulatory and administrative complexities of the western clean fuels markets. Our company facilitates a return on the investment in your EV fleet or charging station portfolio through low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) credit management and transaction services. If you are interested in our services or have any questions, please reach out to our Clean Fuels Team at cleanfuels@srectrade.com.

SRECTrade’s Management Business Exceeds 500 MW of Clean Energy Assets

Posted March 11th, 2019 by SRECTrade.

On February 5, 2019 SRECTrade’s environmental commodity management platform surpassed 500 megawatts (MW) of assets under management. As of today, the Company manages more than 520 MW of clean energy projects spanning more than 36,000 assets. SRECTrade’s assets under management are comprised of solar photovoltaic, wind, renewable thermal, and electric vehicle assets. This milestone demonstrates the Company’s ability to manage clean energy projects across a variety of environmental commodity incentive markets.

SRECTrade-X, the Company’s portfolio management software, provides services to institutional renewable energy asset owners covering an additional 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of assets across more than 115,000 projects. The platform also provides renewable energy credit solutions to electricity suppliers and environmental commodity trading firms.

Over the past decade, SRECTrade has established itself as the preeminent provider of efficient environmental commodity management and technology solutions. The Company provides cloud-based services to the clean energy industry with an expertise in managing, transacting, and processing environmental incentives. SRECTrade’s mission is to accelerate the adoption of clean energy by providing services and technology that minimize the time, cost, and risk associated with achieving benefits and compliance in the markets it serves.

A copy of the full press release can be found here.

District of Columbia SREC Market Update

Posted February 22nd, 2019 by SRECTrade.

On January 18, 2019, the mayor of the District of Columbia signed the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Bill Amendment Act of 2018, increasing the District’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 100% by 2032 and the solar carve-out  to 10% by 2041. Notably, the Act increased the useful life of an SREC from three to five years and drew forward the legacy solar requirement by two years. As a reaction to these policy changes, the District’s SREC market has seen a much-needed jump in both pricing and liquidity, after over a year of falling SREC values and thin market conditions. Since the market bottomed-out in Q4 of 2018 at $295 per credit, we have seen a dramatic pricing swing of nearly 30%, to $380 per credit. The enclosed analysis examines the fundamental market conditions which are driving this increase in market pricing and liquidity.

With the enactment of the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Bill Amendment Act of 2018, electric load can now be placed into one of three compliance buckets:

  1. Load contracted prior to October 8, 2016, which is obligated to the provisions in the DG Amendment Act of 2011
  2. Load contracted between October 8, 2016 and January 1, 2019, which is obligated to the provisions in the Renewable Portfolio Expansion Act of 2016
  3. Load contracted on or after January 1, 2019, which is obligated to the provisions in the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Bill Amendment Act of 2018

According to solar alternative compliance payment (SACP) data in the DCPSC Annual RPS Report for Compliance Year 2017, approximately 75% of the District’s 2017 electric load was grandfathered under the legacy SACP levels from the DG Amendment Act of 2011. Based on this information, we made the calculated assumption in our analysis that the percentage of 2019 electric load in each respective bucket is as follows: twenty-five percent (25%) in bucket 1, fifty percent (50%) in bucket 2, and twenty-five percent (25%) in bucket 3. We assumed that bucket 1 would roll off completely by 2020 and bucket 2 by 2022. Beginning in 2022, all load will be subject to the solar requirement and SACP provisions in the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Bill Amendment Act of 2018.

Using these assumptions and flat load growth moving forward, we will likely see the market shift from an oversupplied to an undersupplied dynamic beginning in 2020. However, even with a near-certain oversupplied dynamic in 2019, the ability to bank credits for five years allows market participants to more flexibly utilize these SRECs, providing buoyancy to 2019 vintage SREC pricing. Barring an unprecedented increase in solar build rate or decrease in statewide electric load served, we expect this policy change to provide SREC pricing stability for the foreseeable future.

Should you have any questions about the enclosed analysis or need transaction and management services, please contact us.

Massachusetts SREC-I and SREC-II Update

Posted January 15th, 2019 by SRECTrade.

With Q3 2018 issuance numbers out, SRECTrade would like to provide an update on the current standing of the SREC-I and SREC-II markets.

SREC-I 

The SREC-I market is not subject to any new capacity and, as such, is largely impacted by electricity load figures and solar production. Given the current Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (MA DOER) estimates for exempt load, expected increased retail electric load*, and SRECTrade’s projections for final 2018 SREC generation figures, the 2018 SREC-I market will be undersupplied by approximately 91,000 SRECs, or 10.9% of the exempt load adjusted obligation. Currently, SRECTrade projects the 2019 SREC-I market will have a similar dynamic of undersupply, with a shortage of approximately 46,000 SRECs, or 5.8% of the estimated exempt load adjusted obligation. For specific details, please see our full presentation here.

The market seems to have taken this undersupply into account, with 2018 and 2019 SREC-Is bid at approximately $400 and $370, respectively. These values amount to approximately 94% and 91% of their respective ACP levels ($426 and $404, respectively).

SREC-II

The SREC-II market closed to new capacity as of November 26, 2018. While systems under 25 kW DC must have been interconnected prior to the closing date, applications will still be accepted through February 15, 2019. As such, there is still some uncertainty as to how much additional residential capacity will apply into the program prior to February 15th, although it can be reasonably assumed that this capacity will be marginal. In addition, there exists approximately 80 MW of market factor-adjusted commercial (>25 kW DC) capacity that has received indefinite extensions for the SREC-II program. These systems are mechanically complete and will begin their SREC production once they receive Permission to Operate (PTO) from their respective utility. We assume in our analysis that 90% of these systems will receive PTO within a year of the closure of SREC-II (November 26th) in equal monthly increments, and the remaining 10% will receive PTO after 12 months. This puts our projected final market factor-adjusted SREC-II capacity at 1,534 MW.

Using these assumptions, as well as DOER’s estimates for exempt load, electric load projections, and SRECTrade’s SREC generation forecast, the 2018 SREC-II market will be undersupplied by approximately 145,500 SRECs, or 8.3% of the exempt load adjusted obligation. As it stands, SRECTrade projects the 2019 SREC-II market will be more balanced with a slight oversupply of 7,600 SRECs, or 0.4% of the exempt load adjusted obligation.

The markets have seemingly digested the fact that the 2018 SREC-II market will be undersupplied, bid at approximately $325 or 93% of the ACP ($350). The 2019 SREC-II market has trended upwards in tandem with the 2018 market, however remains split between the SCCA price ($244) and ACP ($333), currently bid at approximately $290. This reflects our projection of a balanced dynamic in 2019.

Should you have any questions about the enclosed analysis or need transaction and management services, please contact us.

*See 2016 MA DOER RPS and APS Annual Compliance Report page 21 for historic and projected retail electric load figures. 

New Jersey BPU Publishes Guidance on SREC Market Closure & Transition Program

Posted January 2nd, 2019 by SRECTrade.

As per The Clean Energy Act, which was signed by the New Jersey Governor into law in May, “the [New Jersey Board of Public Utilities] shall adopt rules and regulations to close the SREC program to new applications upon the attainment of 5.1 percent of the kilowatt-hours sold in the State by each electric power supplier and each basic generation provider from solar electric power generators”. On December 26th, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (“BPU”) published a straw proposal which provides further guidance to the closure of the current SREC program and implementation of a “transition program” in New Jersey. The proposal provides the following guidance:

  • Provide maximum benefit to ratepayers at the lowest cost
  • Support the continued growth of the solar industry
  • Ensure that prior investments retain value
  • Meet the Governor’s commitment of 50% Class I Renewable Energy Certificates (“RECs”) by 2030 and 100% clean energy by 2050
  • Provide insight and information to stakeholders through a transparent process for developing the Solar Transition and Successor Program
  • Comply fully with the statute, including the implications of the cost cap
  • Provide disclosure and notification to developers that certain projects may not be guaranteed participation in the current SREC program, and continue updates on market conditions via the New Jersey Clean Energy Program (“NJCEP”) SREC Registration Program (“SRP”) Solar Activity Reports

In addition, the proposal schedules a robust stakeholder process for the 2019 calendar year to discuss the logistics of the closure of the current SREC program and implementation of the subsequent transition program. Specifically, the BPU requests that stakeholders provide input on:

  • How the attainment of 5.1% of electricity sales coming from solar will be calculated
  • How the pipeline projects (non-operational assets with SRPs) will be treated at market closure
  • Ensuring cost caps are not exceeded during an “18-month period”

SRECTrade will continue to monitor this process and provide updates accordingly.

District of Columbia Passes Landmark 100% Renewable Energy Bill

Posted December 19th, 2018 by SRECTrade.

On December 18th, the District of Columbia City Council unanimously approved the CleanEnergy Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018, which among a number of other environmental initiatives, mandates the District be powered by 100% renewable energy resources by 2032. While a number of other states, including California and New York, have approved similar 100% clean energy mandates, the Act requires the District to meet its 100% target nearly a decade earlier than any other state. This puts the District at the forefront of a growing wave of local and state initiatives, nationwide, working to implement robust and resolute clean energy programs.

In addition to doubling the RPS mandate, the Act pulls forward the solar RPS schedule by two years and extends the solar requirement to 10% of electricity sales by 2041. Notably, the Act extends the useful lifetime of an SREC from three to five years, providing more price stability within the SREC market and stimulating investor confidence. The Act also includes provisions to provide further transparency with respect to load exemptions, requiring EDCs and LSEs to publish their electricity sales exempt from compliance obligations in their annual RPS compliance reports.

Mayor Muriel Bowser has 10 business days to sign the Act, veto it, or let it pass without her signature. While the Mayor is expected to sign the measure, a unanimous vote from the Council would override any veto from the Mayor.

Once the Act goes into law, SRECTrade will release a full analysis outlining the effects this change will have on the District’s SREC market.

 

Building on Momentum in Maryland

Posted December 19th, 2018 by SRECTrade.

With the 2019 Maryland legislative session fast approaching, solar advocates have begun to rally support for the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act (“MCEJA”) behind a heavily Democratic Maryland General Assembly. According to State Senator Brian Feldman and House of Delegates Representative Cheryl Glenn, a veto-proof majority of 30 Senators as well as 82 House of Delegates Representatives have already pledged support for the MCEJA, renewing a sense of optimism within the state following the rejection of a similar proposal in the 2018 legislative session.

Among other renewable energy goals and initiatives, the MCEJA calls for a doubling of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) to 50% by 2030, which would put Maryland amongst a growing list of states, including California, Washington D.C., New Jersey, and New York, adopting aggressive and robust clean energy mandates. Proponents of the MCEJA assert that the Act would create over 5,000 new jobs, doubling the previous amount, and stimulate investor confidence within the industry.

Uncertainty still surrounds Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s position on the MCEJA. While Hogan previously vetoed a more modest proposal in 2016, his co-authorship of a piece in the Washington Post, calling upon states to “put aside partisan interest and get to work [on climate change]”, has instilled confidence in environmental advocates of his potential support. Hogan would be able to veto, sign, or let the Act pass without his signature. SRECTrade will continue to monitor developments in Maryland and update our partners and clients accordingly.

IL Adjustable Block Program Application Training – Webinar

Posted December 13th, 2018 by SRECTrade.

Earlier today, SRECTrade hosted an application training webinar for the upcoming Illinois Adjustable Block Program (ABP).

SRECTrade’s ABP application window is now open. Applications are required to be submitted by an SRECTrade Approved Referrer. If you are interested in applying to be an SRECTrade Approved Referrer, please email installers@srectrade.com.

For access to the presentation slides, please click HERE. To view a video recording of the webinar, please click the image below.

IL Adjustable Block Program Application Training Webinar

Posted December 5th, 2018 by SRECTrade.

SRECTrade, Inc. will be hosting a webinar to review the SRECTrade application and onboarding process for the upcoming Illinois Adjustable Block Program (ABP) on Thursday, December 13th, at 10:00am CST.

To register for the webinar, please click HERE.

SRECTrade is also targeting December 13th as the opening of its ABP application window.

Please note that a webinar recording will be made available on the SRECTrade Blog after the webinar.

Washington D.C. City Council Advances CleanEnergy Omnibus Bill to Second Reading

Posted November 29th, 2018 by SRECTrade.

On Tuesday November 27th, the District of Columbia City Council voted unanimously to advance the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 to a second reading. Most notably, this bill increases the District’s renewable energy mandate to 100% by 2032 and solar energy mandate to 10% by 2041.

In summary the bill addresses the following:

  1. Increases the lifetime eligibility of SRECs from three to five years
  2. Requires electricity suppliers to submit annual compliance reports which include the number of exempt load contracts from the Renewable Energy Portfolio Expansion Amendment Act of 2016 and the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018, respectively, in calendar years 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022
  3. Draws forward the solar carve out requirement schedule by two years and extends the Alternative Compliance Penalty (ACP) schedule as follows:


The bill also addresses emissions reductions in the transportation sector, requiring that all public transportation and fleet vehicles become electric by 2045.

The second reading is scheduled for December 18th. If the Council votes on confirming the bill, it will be sent to the Mayor’s desk, who will have 10 business days to sign, disapprove, or let the bill pass without her signature. Further amendments could be made to the bill over the next three weeks. SRECTrade will continue to update participants on any updates made to the bill and progress on any significant legislative proceedings.