Posts Tagged ‘Maryland’

House Economic Matters Subcommittee Votes Against Maryland RPS Bill

Posted March 15th, 2018 by SRECTrade.

On Wednesday, March 14th, the Maryland House Economic Matters subcommittee voted against the Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2018 (HB 1453), a bill that would have expanded the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Among other measures, the bill aimed to increase the state’s RPS solar requirement to 14.5% by 2030 and its total RPS requirement to 50% by 2030; at present, the state’s RPS solar requirement is 2.5% by 2020 and total RPS requirement is 25% by 2020. A majority of the Public Utilities Subcommittee voted for an “unfavorable motion” on the bill.

The bill’s lead sponsor, House Majority Leader C. William Frick (Dem), announced the night of the 14th that he was withdrawing the bill before a full vote of the Economic Matters Committee. The 100% Clean Renewable Energy Equity Act of 2018 (HB 878), a bill designed to raise the state’s RPS to 100 percent by 2035, was also withdrawn on the 14th.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2018 was supported by more than 660 faith groups, environmental organizations, unions, and civic leaders. Proponents of the bill are looking to pass the bill in 2019 after making it an important election issue this year.

For our latest Maryland SREC Market update click here. For more information on the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act’s proposal, please view our previous blog post on the topic here.

Maryland Governor Vetoes RPS Legislation

Posted May 27th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

Earlier this afternoon, Maryland Governor Hogan vetoed the Clean Energy Jobs – Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Revisions bill (SB0921/HB1106). Gov. Hogan’s letter to the Speaker of the House regarding the veto can be read here, wherein the Governor sites “tax increases” as his sole reason for vetoing the RPS legislation, which would have increased the State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 25 percent by 2020 – up from the current obligation of 20 percent by 2022 – and allowed for the continued growth of solar and other renewables in the State.

Maryland Carve-Out - 2

Maryland SACP

The RPS bill passed in the House and the Senate earlier this year with veto-proof majorities, so there is potential for the bill to become law despite the Governor’s veto. In response to the veto, proponents of the RPS bill will look to meet with House and Senate leaders to discuss a strategy for moving forward with the bill.  Unfortunately, the veto override vote will not take place until January 2017 unless a special session is held before then. However, since a special session would require the Governor’s approval, it is unlikely that a special session will be held.

SRECTrade will continue to provide updates on the status of the Maryland RPS as we acquire new information. For more information about the Maryland SREC market, please visit our Maryland Market page here.

Maryland RPS Bill Passes in the Senate

Posted April 7th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On Wednesday, April 6th, Maryland’s Senate passed SB0921 31-14 with a bipartisan vote. The “Clean Energy Jobs – Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Revisions” increases the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 25 percent by 2020 – up from the current obligation of 20 percent by 2022. The House version of the bill, HB1106, passed on March 21st. The consolidation of these two bills is anticipated to occur by Monday, April 11th, before advancing to Governor Larry Hogan’s desk.

On a related note, Gov. Hogan signed the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act (SB0323) into law on Monday, April 4th, requiring the state to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 2006 levels by 2030.

Maryland RPS Bill Passes in the House

Posted March 21st, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On Monday, Maryland’s House of Delegates voted to pass HB1106 with a 92-43 vote. The bill previously known as the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2016 was divided into two bills last week, and HB1106 was distilled to focus on the RPS components of the original bill. HB1106, which was retitled to “Clean Energy – Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Revisions”, schedules an increase to the state’s existing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), including slight increases to the solar carve-out. The increases to the solar carve-out would result in increased demand for MD SRECs. Now that the bill has passed in the house, it will cross over to the Senate for review by the Senate Finance Committee. If SB0921 comes out of the Senate Finance Committee with a favorable report, it will go to the Senate Floor for a vote.

HB1106 was bifurcated from the jobs appropriation component of the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2016 last week. On March 16th, the Maryland Public Utilities Subcommittee of the Economics Matters Committee passed three significant amendments to HB1106 to narrow the bill’s focus to the RPS. Notably, these amendments involved:

  • Dividing the RPS increase and workforce development components of the bill, leaving the Clean Energy Jobs Act as a stand-alone RPS bill. The Cove Point settlement funds, which would finance the workforce development processes, would be parsed into another bill, HB1404. HB1404 aims to provide funding for construction and vocational work through a new “Center for Education and Innovation.”
  • Excluding the Choptank Cooperative from state RPS requirements.  This is an extension of the RPS’s current language and allows Choptank to meet its contractual obligations with Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), a power supply co-op in Virginia.
  • Adding sponsors to the new stand-alone RPS bill, in an effort to achieve bipartisan support of the bill.

The isolation of the RPS legislation from the workforce development components of the bill was received favorably in the House, and the bisection may help to secure the bill’s passage through the Senate Finance Committee and on the Senate Floor.

SRECTrade will continue to provide updates on the status of the Maryland RPS as we acquire new information. For more information on the Clean Energy Jobs Act, please view our previous blog post on the topic here.

Clean Energy Jobs Act Introduced to Maryland’s General Assembly

Posted February 10th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

Since its introduction to the public on December 8th, 2015, the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act has made its way to the front doors of the Maryland General Assembly, with the recent introduction of the bill into the Senate under SB0921 and the upcoming introduction into the House of Delegates this coming Friday, February 12th. The Act proposes an increase to the state’s existing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which would include slight increases to the solar carve-out. The Act schedules a gradual increase in the state’s RPS obligation to satisfy 25 percent of its energy needs with Tier 1 renewable energy sources by 2020 – a significant advancement of the current goal of 20 percent by 2020. The solar carve-out is scheduled to increase incrementally from the current goal of 2.0 percent by 2020 to 2.5 percent by 2025.

Senator Majority Leader Catherine Pugh (D-Baltimore), Delegate Dereck Davis (D-Prince George’s), Senator Brian Feldman (D-Montgomery), and Delegate Bill Frick (D-Montgomery) have championed the concept of the bill since its inception months ago. The bill was first filed in the Senate by Senator Pugh, and was referred to the Finance Committee in its First Reading on February 5th. The bill’s introduction to the House will be this Friday, which will just beat the state’s House Bill Introduction Date, allowing the bill to bypass referral to the House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee.

While we monitor the progress of this bill on the House and Senate floors, we are continuing to project and analyze the impact that its passage could have on the Maryland solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market. Increasing the annual RPS obligation schedule will also increase the demand for SRECs and support prices in the market. In addition, the Act is anticipated to source $40 million from unallocated contributions from the state’s Strategic Energy Investment Fund, create an estimated 2,000 additional clean energy jobs, and help Maryland address climate change with clean energy.

For more information on the early stages of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, please reference our previous post on the topic from December 11th, 2015.

MEA Statement on SRECs from Maryland’s Mount St. Mary’s Project

Posted November 27th, 2012 by SRECTrade.

Today, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) released a letter to Maryland solar industry stakeholders announcing how the Department of General Services (DGS) and the University System of Maryland (USM) will be managing SRECs purchased from the 17.4 MW project sited at Mount St. Mary’s (MSM) University in Emmitsburg, MD.

The letter explains that DGS and USM are responsible for purchasing electricity and SRECs from 10.67 MW and 5.33 MW of the project, respectively.  The MEA goes on to explain DGS will act as a “provider of last resort” and will sell SRECs only if the market needs them. The letter also states the MEA suggested DGS set an offer price of 90% of the SACP for these excess SRECs.

Furthermore, the administration’s letter covers USM’s management plan stating that, “USM is committed to using SRECs to meet its RPS requirements, and could potentially use any surplus to meet future RPS requirements, voluntary carbon reductions, and/or potential future utility budget shortfalls. USM is cognizant of the fact that MSM’s SRECs represent a significant share of the market in 2013 and 2014, when the market is most vulnerable to potential oversupply. USM does not currently intend to sell the excess SRECs in 2013 or 2014.”

These statements demonstrate the volume of SRECs owned by DGS will only be sold in under-supplied compliance periods. USM’s management plan states the current intention to hold SRECs in the near term, but appears there could be instances in which USM’s excess SRECs are sold to help bridge budget shortfalls.

For a full copy of the MEA letter click here.

A more detailed analysis of this statement’s impact on Maryland SREC supply will be available in the SREC Market Monitor, a joint-venture between SRECTrade and Greentech Media’s GTM Research.

Maryland Solar Bills S.B. 791 and H.B. 1187 Signed Into Law

Posted May 22nd, 2012 by SRECTrade.

Today, Maryland Solar Bills S.B. 791 and H.B. 1187 were signed into law by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.

The passage of these bills will increase the near term Solar Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirements and reach the state’s 2% solar target two years ahead of the original RPS schedule; compliance year 2020 instead of 2022. The RPS requirements will increase beginning in the 2013 compliance year (January 2013 – December 2013).

Estimates show that the 2013 RPS increase equates to approximately 34,150 more SRECs required in 2013 under the new bills. This represents an additional 28.5 MW of solar capacity required, assuming all 2013 RPS requirements are meet using only 2013 vintage SRECs. After 2013, the RPS requirements continue to increase over the old goals, with some of the largest requirement increases estimated to begin in 2016 and onward.

As of the April 2012 SRECTrade Solar Capacity Update, total eligible Maryland solar capacity reached 45.6 MW. Based on projects registered in PJM GATS, over the last twelve months average MW capacity added per month has been 2.6 MW. The 2012 compliance year requires approximately 67,310 SRECs to be retired. As of May 11, 2012, PJM GATS reported the issuance of approximately 10,200 MD2012 SRECs. Under the new requirements, it is estimated that the MD2013 Solar RPS will require 170,800 SRECs, the equivalent of 142.3 MW operational all year long assuming only 2013 vintage SRECs are utilized to meet the state’s SREC targets.

Maryland Update – Senate Passes SB791

Posted April 4th, 2012 by SRECTrade.

Today, the Maryland Senate voted 37-9 in favor of Senate Bill 791. We have been following this piece of legislation closely and have provided estimates and analysis around its impact on the Maryland Solar REC market.

Overall, the legislation pulls forward the Solar RPS requirements, reaching the existing 2022 Solar % requirements in 2020. The chart below demonstrates the existing requirements vs. the proposed requirements under the new legislation.

MD Solar RPS Current vs. HB1187

The next step for the bill is to move on to the Governor’s office to be signed into law.  Maryland stakeholders expect the legislation to be well received by the Governor who will likely sign the bill in May.

We’ll continue to provide updates as the bill is finalized and signed into law. Before then we should point out this bill was successfully promoted in part due to the efforts of the Maryland-DC-Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association (MDV-SEIA) and strong grassroots support from Maryland stakeholders at large.

Update – Maryland Proposes New Solar Legislation

Posted April 2nd, 2012 by SRECTrade.

Since our last update on legislation to adjust the Solar RPS requirements in Maryland, there has been some movement in both the House and the Senate.

After HB1187 passed out of the House Economic Matters Committee, the bill was heard on the floor of the House and passed unanimously 131-0. Earlier last week, the Senate version of the bill, SB791, was voted down in the Senate Finance Committee, 4-7. The bill was then reconsidered by the committee the other day with the original vote being overturned, 8-2 (with one abstention).

The next stage for SB791 is to bring it up for vote on the floor of the Senate. Stakeholders expect this will take place Monday or Wednesday of this week. Some have expressed that the bill may be met with some resistance from the Senate, but it is expected that should it pass out of the Senate it will be well received by the Governor.

If you have an interest in voicing your thoughts on this piece of legislation, feel free to visit this link to find your appropriate representative. We’ll continue to provide updates through our blog as the bill makes its way through the process.

Maryland Proposes New Solar Legislation

Posted March 22nd, 2012 by SRECTrade.

For a PDF copy of this analysis please click here: Maryland Proposes New Solar Legislation

In February 2012, the Maryland legislature introduced legislation that directly impacts the MD solar industry. Two sets of legislation are proposed. The first set, House Bill 1187 (HB1187) and Senate Bill (SB791) seek to adjust the solar goals outlined in the MD Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The second set House Bill 864 (HB864) and Senate Bill 595 (SB595) propose adjustments to the state law to allow for “Community Solar.”

In order for either sets of legislation to be signed into law, both the House and Senate versions must be passed and a final bill signed by the Governor. We detail both sets of legislation below.

Maryland RPS Adjustment

Companion bills HB1187 and SB791, pull forward the percentage requirement of the solar portion of the MD RPS, reaching its 2.0% solar target in 2020 instead of 2022. In addition to pulling the RPS % forward, the percentage requirements in the interim, beginning in 2013, would also increase.

The chart below demonstrates the existing RPS % versus the proposed percentage requirements under HB1187/SB791.

MD Solar RPS Current vs. HB1187

While the overall MD RPS solar goal does not change under HB1187/SB791, the amount of SRECs required increases in each of the interim years beginning in 2013 (SREC requirements are directly tied to the RPS % requirements). These increases could have a positive impact on SREC pricing if the market is unable to develop the needed supply during these future periods. Although the increases are meaningful (especially in the later years, see charts below), large projects such as First Solar’s20 MW Hagerstown, MDproject and Constellation Energy’s16.1 and 1.3 MW Emmitsburg, MDprojects can still substantially impact the SREC market.

Current vs. Proposed and Additional

As of March 7, 2012,PJM GATS reported 41.8 MWof operational MD eligible capacity. Under the existing MD2012 RPS requirements, Maryland needs an average of 56.1 MW operational all year long, or 67,310 SRECs. Additionally, any left-over supply from 2010 and 2011 also can be used to meet MD2012 compliance requirements. Given continued development in the state, which has averaged approximately 2.3 MW/month over the last 12 months (LTM), and the larger projects noted above, the increase in capacity as proposed by HB1187 and SB791 would help absorb continued solar build out.

Maryland could expect to see approximately 102.2 MW of operational capacity at the beginning of 2013. This figure takes into consideration the online capacity as of 3/7/12, the impact of the Constellation and Maryland Solar projects (assumed to be fully operational by the end of 2012), and continued development at the same pace as the LTM period. The table below demonstrates how our estimated 2013 beginning balance capacity compares to the number of SRECs required under the current 2013 RPS requirements versus the proposed requirements under HB1187/SB791.

estimated 2013 beginning balance

Where Does HB1187/SB791 Currently Stand?

Earlier this week, HB1187, the House version of the bill, was heard in the House Economic Matters committee. A couple panels with industry analysts and regional installation professionals presented their thoughts on the impact of pulling forward the Solar RPS requirements. After the reading and the presentations, the bill was unanimously passed out of committee.

It is expected that the House bill will reach the floor for final vote later this week or early next week. Additionally, the Senate bill needs to be heard in the Senate Finance Committee before it can make it to the floor of the Senate. Should both sides of the legislature vote in favor of the bills, the final step would be to have it sent to Governor O’Malley to be signed into law.

Community Energy Bills HB864/SB595

In addition to HB1187/SB791, there are 2 bills in the MD House and Senate,HB864andSB595, which provide guidelines and regulations for investing, operating, and participating in the usage of electricity generated from shared community energy generation facilities. While Annapolis insiders suggest that these “community solar” bills have a way to go before they are implemented, important initial legwork is being completed to make community solar projects feasible. The highlights of the current versions of the bills include:

– Defining that community energy-generating facilities and their subscribers or subscriber organizations are not considered Electric Companies or Electricity Suppliers

– Provides a frame work for crediting generated electricity to the subscribers of the facility

– Outlines who can be a qualified project owner

– Explains how energy not fully allocated to users of the project’s electricity will be credited/purchased as wholesale electricity

– Implements nameplate megawatt capacity caps, currently 2 MW, on projects that participate in a community energy project structure

SRECTrade will continue to keep a close eye on the legislative process across these bills and provide updates as they become available.