Archive for August, 2015

Massachusetts DOER Announces 2016 SREC-II Obligation and Zero Managed Growth for 2017

Posted August 31st, 2015 by SRECTrade.

On August 28, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced the Solar Carve-Out Minimum Standard for 2016. As described by the DOER, “the Minimum Standard for the Class I Solar Carve-Out II is the percentage of a Supplier’s total retail load obligation that must be met by the ownership of Solar Carve-Out II Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC IIs) issued by the NEPOOL GIS, with each SREC II signifying one MWh of electrical energy from a Generation Unit that has been qualified by the DOER under the Solar Carve-Out II Program.”

The 2016 requirement for SREC-II is 0.7851%. With an estimated Retail Load Obligation of 48 million MWhs in 2016, applying the minimum standard of 0.7851% results in the compliance obligation of 377,877 SRECs:


The DOER previously announced the SREC-I obligation for 2016 (1.7568%).

Finally, the DOER also announced that the 2017 Managed Growth Capacity Block has been set at zero megawatts.


SRECTrade Markets Report: July 2015

Posted August 24th, 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 8/4/2015

There are 65,441 facilities registered in GATS as of 8/4/2015. See below for a more detailed breakdown.

PJM GATS Overview July 2015

There are 324 projects over 1 MW in capacity, representing 1,031.0 MW or 44.3% of the qualified capacity. The largest projects in PJM are concentrated in NC and MD. There are 52 projects that are 5 MW or larger. These make up 22.2% of all qualified capacity in PJM. The top 5 largest projects are listed below.

Top 5 Largest July 2015

NJ Office of Clean Energy Estimated Installed Capacity Through 7/31/15

On August 20, 2015, the New Jersey Office of Clean Energy (OCE) announced total installed solar capacity reached 1,513.7 MW through 7/31/15; an increase of approximately 13.0 MW over the total capacity reported through the end of June 2015. The average last six month build rate per month, according to the OCE data, is 12.5 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 7/21/2015 the DOER reported that 6.7 MW of solar is still listed as Qualified but not operational. In total, 653.8 MW of capacity is listed as qualified, of which 647.1 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 8/28/2015, 385.2 MW of capacity is currently qualified under the SREC-II program, but only 220.9 MW is operational.

Starting May 15, 2015 the DOER began publishing data showing generation units under review in the SREC-II Program.  Total capacity under review is 31.0 MW, of which 4.3 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” through 2013. Projected SRECs required utilizes the most recent EIA electricity data applying an average 1.0% 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.

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.

Obama Administration Releases Clean Power Plan Final Rule

Posted August 3rd, 2015 by SRECTrade.

On August 3rd, 2015, President Obama and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy released the Final Rule for the Clean Power Plan, the first-ever national standard set to limit carbon pollution from power plants.

Under the authority of Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Power Plan requires states to develop tailored implementation plans to reduce carbon emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. In effect, the Plan will create more demand for solar and other renewable technologies than all statewide Renewable Portfolio Standards currently in place. Assuming that implementation of the Final Rule takes place as scheduled, the states’ initial compliance plans will be due in September 2016, but the Plan allows states to requests extensions of up to two years for final plan submission, to ensure that the states have enough time to develop sustainable compliance plans. Additionally, the Final Rule extended the compliance averaging period to begin in 2022 instead of 2020, and emissions reductions are phased in on a gradual “glide path” to 2030.

The Clean Power Plan was designed to build upon steps taken by the Administration, states, cities, and companies throughout the country to address climate change, which have resulted in these accomplishments to date:

  • 37 states with renewable portfolio standards or goals
  • 25 states with energy efficiency standards or goals
  • 10 states with market-based greenhouse gas reduction programs
  • 50 states with demand-side energy efficiency programs

The Administration is confident that the Clean Power Plan sets flexible and achievable standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, which are the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States. The Plan’s reduction in pollutants that contribute to soot and smog will provide significant public health benefits, including reduced asthma attacks in children. In addition to promoting the Plan’s public health benefits, the Plan encourages states to make early investments in clean energy and job creation while focusing on low-income communities and helping the average American family save money on their energy bill.

The White House Press Release is available here, and the Final Rule can be found here (note, however, that this version will be replaced once the official version is published with the Federal Register) . The EPA also prepared a helpful Factsheet, which provides a broad overview of the Plan. The Final Rule will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.