Archive for February, 2015

Proposed Bill Aims to Double Maryland’s RPS by 2025

Posted February 26th, 2015 by SRECTrade.

Following a press conference held on Friday to encourage Maryland’s lawmakers to double Maryland’s existing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), Maryland’s Senate Finance Committee held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the efficacy of such a change, and to gauge just how far lawmakers are willing to go on increasing the requirement.

The Clean Energy Advancement Act of 2015 (HB 377/SB 373), led by Senator Brian Feldman, D-Montgomery, is supported by 16 Senate and 45 House co-sponsors, and would require 25 percent of Maryland’s electricity from clean sources by 2020, with an uptick to 40 percent by 2025.  The 40% by 2025 goal would double the state’s current RPS. House sponsor Delegate Bill Frick, D-Montgomery, voiced support for the bill at the House Economic Matters committee meeting on Friday, urging fellow lawmakers that now is the time to increase the RPS, but also expressed his understanding that it may be difficult to pass the bill with the 40 percent mandatory language.

While many lawmakers and Maryland citizens alike believe that Maryland should embrace this opportunity to advance in the clean energy sector, opponents of the bill argue that such a drastic change will create serious economic challenges to utility companies. To deal with the upswing in costs from the proposed goal, an increase of $0.52 is expected in monthly energy bills by 2020.  However, proponents of the bill like Tom Landers, policy director for the Climate Change Action Network in Maryland and Washington, D.C., encouraged the policymakers to “. . . have a bigger picture view of the costs, because the costs of fossil fuels are more than what we assume from our bill…”, urging that there are additional economic, environmental, and health costs associated with the continued use of fossil fuels that must be taken into account in the cost equation.

While the proposed bill is engineered to work alongside a 2012 law mandating a 25 percent statewide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 while simultaneously spurring job growth, the change will undoubtedly come with a price tag. Accordingly, the question becomes whether the benefits of decreased fossil fuel use and increased clean energy use outweigh the rising costs of energy bills. While a handful of representatives expressed their doubts about the sustainability of an increased RPS, statistics show that 69 percent of Marylanders support the increase, in addition to the support in the Maryland House and Senate.

** UPDATE ** Sources who were present at the House and/or Senate hearings have stated that the bill has been revised to remove the 40% by 2025 mandatory language, which means that the bill will only require an RPS of 25% by 2020. However, this amended bill has not yet been posted on Maryland’s General Assembly site, so the text of the amended bill cannot yet be verified.

SRECTrade Markets Report: January 2015

Posted February 20th, 2015 by SRECTrade.

The following post is a monthly update outlining the megawatts of solar capacity certified to create SRECs in the Solar REC markets that SRECTrade serves. All PJM data is based on the information available in PJM GATS as of the date noted. All MA data is based on the information provided by the DOER as of the date noted. This analysis does not include projects that are not yet registered and certified with the entities noted herein.

A PDF copy of this table can be found here.


Overview of PJM Eligible Systems Through 2/4/2015

There are 55,478 facilities registered in GATS as of 2/4/2015. See below for a more detailed breakdown.

There are 300 projects over 1 MW in capacity, representing 872.9 MW or 42.6% of the qualified capacity. The largest projects in PJM are concentrated in NJ and MD. There are 38 projects over 5 MW or larger. These make up 18.3% of all qualified capacity in PJM. The top 5 largest projects are listed below.


NJ Office of Clean Energy Estimated Installed Capacity Through 1/31/15

On February 6, 2015, the New Jersey Office of Clean Energy (OCE) announced total installed solar capacity reached 1,438.9 MW through 1/31/15; an increase of approximately 7.0 MW over the total capacity reported through the end of January 2015. The average last six month build rate per month, according to the OCE data, is 17.0 MW. Note that this data does not directly tie to GATS registration data because of a lag between NJ Office of Clean Energy certifications and GATS registrations.

Overview of MA DOER SREC-I and SREC-II Eligible Systems

SREC-I Program

The Massachusetts SREC-I program was capped on June 30, 2014. As of 2/12/2015 the DOER reported that 30.0 MW of solar is still listed as Qualified but not operational. In total, 654.8 MW of capacity is listed as qualified, of which 624.8 MW is operational.

SREC-II Program

The SREC-II program opened on April 25, 2014. The program is broken in to Market Sectors. For a detailed overview of the regulations regarding SREC-II please visit here. As of 2/12/2015, 210.7 MW of capacity is currently qualified under the SREC-II program, but only 83.5 MW is operational.

How to Interpret The Capacity Table at the Top of this Post

The tables above demonstrate the capacity breakout by state. Note, that for all PJM GATS registered projects, each state includes all projects certified to sell into that state. State RPS programs that allow for systems sited in other states to participate have been broken up by systems sited in-state and out-of-state. Additional detail has been provided to demonstrate the total capacity of systems only certified for one specific state market versus being certified for multiple state markets. For example, PA includes projects only certified to sell into the PA SREC market, broken out by in-state and out-of-state systems, as well as projects that are also certified to sell into PA and Other State markets broken out by in state and out of state systems (i.e. OH, DC, MD, DE, NJ). PA Out-of-State includes systems sited in states with their own state SREC market (i.e. DE) as well as systems sited in states that have no SREC market (i.e. VA). Also, it is important to note that the Current Capacity represents the total megawatts eligible to produce and sell SRECs as of the noted date, while the Estimated Required Capacity – Current and Next Reporting Year represents the estimated number of MW that need to be online on average throughout the reporting period to meet the RPS requirement within each state with only that particular compliance period vintage. For example, New Jersey needed approximately 496.7 MW online for the entire 2013 reporting year to meet the RPS requirement with 2013 vintage SRECs only. SRECs still available from prior eligible periods can also impact the Solar RPS requirements. Additionally, the data presented above does not include projects that are in the pipeline or currently going through the registration process in each state program. This data represents specifically the projects that have been approved for the corresponding state SREC markets as of the dates noted.

Note: SREC requirements for markets without fixed SREC targets have been forecast based on EIA Report “Retail Sales of Electricity by State by Provider” updated 11/8/13. Projected SRECs required utilizes the most recent EIA electricity data applying an average 1.5% growth rate per forecast year. The state’s RPS Solar requirement is then multiplied by forecast total electricity sales to arrive at projected SRECs required. Projected capacity required is based on a factor of 1,200 MWh in PJM states and 1,160 MWh in MA, generated per MW of installed capacity per year.