Posts Tagged ‘Solar Carve-Out’

NJ Gov. Murphy Signs AB-3723 / SB-2314 Increasing State RPS

Posted May 25th, 2018 by SRECTrade.

On Wednesday, May 23rd, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (Dem) signed Assembly Bill 3723 (AB-3723) and Senate Bill 2314 (SB-2314), increasing the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirements. The bill establishes renewable energy goals of 21 percent by 2020, 35 percent by 2025, and 50 percent by 2030, making the New Jersey RPS one of the highest in the nation.

Notably, the state’s solar carve-out requirement is raised and accelerated to 5.1 percent of total electricity sales by EY2021 before beginning to ramp-down in 2024. The requirement ramps down in consideration of solar facilities that will be reaching the end of their 15-year SREC production eligibility term.

On the other hand, the bill lowers the solar alternative compliance payment (SACP) schedule to $268.00 in EY2019 with an additional $10.00 reduction each following year.

The bill also shortens the 15-year period that qualified solar projects can generate solar renewable energy credits (SREC) to ten years, effective for all New Jersey SREC Registration Program applications received as of the enactment date. Lastly, the bill mandates that the current SREC program be closed upon reaching the 5.1 percent target and no later than June 1, 2021. It is anticipated that a supplemental “SREC-II” program will follow shortly after the closure of the first program.

The bill also introduces other clean energy initiatives, including:

  • Community Solar: establishes the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program to allow utility customers access to solar projects that are located away from their properties, but within their utility’s service territory. The pilot program is planned to be converted to a permanent community solar program within 36 months.
  • Energy Efficiency: requires individual utilities to implement energy efficiency measures to reduce electricity usage by 2 percent and natural gas usage by 0.75 percent.
  • Energy Storage: mandates Gov. Murphy’s goal of achieving 600 MW of energy storage by 2021 and 2,000 MW by 2030.
  • Offshore Wind: establishes a goal of 3,500 MW of offshore wind by 2030 that will be supported by an offshore wind renewable energy credit (OREC) program.

Simultaneously, Gov. Murphy signed Executive Order No. 28, requiring state agencies to update the Energy Master Plan (EMP) that prepares a strategy for achieving 100 percent clean energy by January 1, 2050. The new EMP is scheduled to be finalized and published by June 1, 2019.

For more information on the bill and its passage through the New Jersey legislature, please visit our previous blog post on the topic here. SRECTrade expects to publish a detailed New Jersey supply and demand analysis reflecting this new legislation soon.

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.

Congress Passes Extension of Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for Solar

Posted December 18th, 2015 by SRECTrade.

Earlier today, Congress passed the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which includes tax extenders and $1.1 trillion in government funding. The spending package includes a pivotal extension of the federal investment tax credit (ITC) for solar energy. The bill is the result of a bicameral and bipartisan compromise, by which Congressional Democrats pursued the extension of this federal subsidy as partial compensation for lifting the ban on US crude oil exports. At first, Democrats believed that the bill would be a loss for the environment, but Democratic leaders urged their party members to recognize the net benefits of extending support for renewable energy development.

“May the force be with you,” quipped Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), encouraging her fellow Senators to vote in favor of the package just hours after the House passed the bill. The bill passed both chambers of Congress by impressive majorities. The House approved by a 316 to 113 vote, and the Senate approved by a 65 to 33 vote.

While existing law provided the 30% solar ITC through the end of 2016, the extension guarantees 30% through 2019, declining to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021. After 2021, the 10% credit for Section 48 (commercial) projects will remain in place, per existing law. However, the bill includes “commence-construction” provisions that allow projects to qualify if they come on-line by the end of 2023. These extensions will help states to meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard and other renewable energy goals by helping project owners offset the cost of investing in renewable energy. The federal ITC, coupled with additional incentives, such as Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), encourages investment in renewable technologies across the country.

The ITC extension will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the solar industry. Experts project that the extension will increase solar installations by 54 percent (compared to a non-extension scenario) and create a 20 GW annual solar market through 2020. The extension is expected to impact utility-scale solar the most, where installations could increase by as much as 73% through 2020. Comparatively, residential installations are expected to experience a 35% growth, and commercial installations are expected to grow by 51%. This anticipated development will spur economic growth and an anticipated incremental investment of $40 billion in the solar industry.

After proposing an extension of the ITC in his 2016 budget earlier this year, the passage of this bill reinforces President Obama’s inaugural commitment to addressing climate change and protecting the planet for future generations. The bill also follows the historic adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement, which was made at COP21 in Paris earlier this month. Although the Agreement still needs to be adopted by the U.S. Government, the President is resolute that the Agreement will survive Republican opposition and become law. In a statement following COP21, President Obama said that “this moment can be a turning point for the world[,]” and this bill is certainly a step in the right direction for America’s commitment to the new international goal.

MA DOER Solar Industry Stakeholder Update

Posted May 23rd, 2013 by SRECTrade.

Today, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (MA DOER) sent a notice to MA Solar Industry stakeholders. The email addressed the following subjects:

    1. Post-400 MW Solar Policy Development – Stakeholder Meeting, June 7th: The DOER will host a public stakeholder meeting on Friday, June 7, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Gardner Auditorium of the State House in Boston. The DOER will present its proposed policy for the post-400 MW solar program.
    2. Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction – Account is Open for Deposits and an Auction will be Held: The Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction account is open for deposits. Deposits must be made by June 15, 2013. All clients utilizing SRECTrade’s EasyREC asset management services will have any unsold MA2012 SRECs automatically deposited into the auction account. The first round of the auction is scheduled to be held on July 26, 2013.
    3. Assurance of Qualification Guideline – Revised Draft now posted for comments: The DOER posted revisions to the qualification guidelines. This document clarifies the queuing and review process as the 400 MW Solar Carve-Out program cap is approached.

To see the original notice click here. SRECTrade will continue to provide any relevant updates on these subjects as more information becomes available.

Massachusetts Post-400 MW Solar Program Proposal

Posted April 22nd, 2013 by SRECTrade.

Some projections show installed PV capacity eligible for the MA Solar Carve-Out Program, otherwise known as the MA SREC program, reaching 400 MW as early as 2014. Once the current SREC market reaches 400 MW no other projects will be eligible for participation in the current program. In preparation for the approach of the 400 MW cap, the DOER held a “Post-400 MW Solar Policy Stakeholder Meeting” in Boston on March 22, 2013, attended by SRECTrade’s own Alex Sheets.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the DOER’s post-400 MW program proposals, including the need for additional clarifications on an “Assurance of Qualification” queuing process for projects wishing to participate in the current iteration of the SREC program. After the meeting’s conclusion, the DOER requested additional formal comments and suggestions. The DOER has since issued guidance on Assurance of Qualification process as well as public comments on the size and shape of a solar incentive program after the 400 MW cap is reached for the current program.

Assurance of Qualification Guideline

In its April 12, 2013 email the DOER summarized the main points of its draft Assurance of Qualification (queuing process) proposal. The draft guideline can be viewed here and we reprint the DOER’s own draft bullet points here:

  • Establishes a list of criteria for determining what constitutes a “complete” application.
  • Creates an exception for small generation units (<30kW DC) that exempts them from meeting the same criteria that larger projects must meet in order to qualify.
  • Establishes a set-aside of the 400 MW DC program cap specifically for small generation units that is equal to 60 MW DC. This 60 MW set-aside includes just over 30 MW of small generation units that are already qualified and operational and helps ensure that the residential and small commercial sector will be protected from any market disruptions in the event the 400 MW program cap is reached before a new program is in place.
  • Establishes a reservation period of 9 months for projects that have obtained an Assurance or Statement of Qualification. Units must be interconnected within this reservation period or will lose their Assurance or Statement of Qualification. It also provides for extensions of this reservation period in certain situations.
  • Creates a list of permissible and prohibited changes that can be made to a project after it receives its Assurance or Statement of Qualification.

Post-400 MW Solar Policy Proposals

The DOER posted all written proposals for a post-400 MW program here. A wide spectrum of proposals were submitted. However, suggestions predictably ranged from the implementation of a feed-in-tariff program to the development of a parallel SREC program, similar to the current one. In general it appears that the majority of stakeholders support the continued implementation of an SREC-based policy.

SRECTrade will continue to closely monitor the development of both post-400 MW policy as well as the Assurance of Qualification process and will periodically update this blog with updates.



Massachusetts Solar Carve-Out Rulemaking and Policy Development Update

Posted February 22nd, 2013 by SRECTrade.

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) sent an email update today (2/22/2013) with clarifications on how the DOER intends to address the approach of the 400 MW cap to the existing Solar Carve-Out program as well as a timeline for establishing a solar policy beyond the existing 400 MW Solar Carve-Out.  Read the bulletin here. Currently the Massachusetts Solar Carve-Out program is limited to 400 MW of installed eligible solar capacity.

Highlights of the bulletin are:

Plans for the approach of the 400th MW

– DOER to submit a Public Notice on March 1, 2013 outlining a queuing system for SREC eligible projects as the Solar Carve-Out approaches the 400 MW cap

– Following public comment the DOER intends to firmly establish any queuing system for SREC eligible projects before the DOER Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction in June

Plans for a solar program after the 400th MW

– DOER to present a post 400 MW policy proposal at a stakeholder meeting in March 2013 (date to be announced)

– A finalized post-400 MW policy will be adopted in April or May

SRECTrade will closely follow the development of these two DOER initiatives. Stay tuned to our blog for details as they emerge.

* Update, 2/27/2013: The DOER sent a follow up email today with a link to the proposed amendment for Solar Carve Out program. A public hearing will be held on March 22, 2013 at the Massachusetts State House in Boston in the Gardner Auditorium. The public comment period for written comments will run from March 1, 2013 to March, 25, 2013.

Massachusetts SREC Timeline

Posted November 21st, 2011 by SRECTrade.

To help with cash flow planning, it is important to understand the timeline inherent with the Massachusetts SREC program. Customers are often surprised to learn that SRECs are created by the state several months after they are produced. Here is a chart outlining when SRECs are created in Massachusetts.

Production Quarter

In Massachusetts SRECs are created once a quarter on a quarter delay. This means that a system that was installed in say, July 2010, will sell its first SRECs in January. Why the long delay? This is a function of the way the program has been implemented in Massachusetts. The solar system owners must first report solar production to the Production Tracking System (PTS). The PTS is part of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and is in charge of collecting all renewable energy production data. At the end of each quarter all of the solar production information is submitted to the NEPOOL-GIS, a third-party organization that is in charge of the software used to register and track SRECs. The NEPOOL-GIS creates SRECs at the end of the new quarter based on the previous quarter’s production data.

SRECTrade holds a Massachusetts specific auction on the day that the SRECs get created or the first business day that they are available. For example, January 15th 2012 falls on a Sunday, so the auction will be held on Monday, January 16th 2012.

Solar Capacity in the SREC States – August 2011

Posted August 26th, 2011 by SRECTrade.

SRECTrade SREC Markets Report: August 2011

The following post outlines the megawatts of solar capacity certified and/or registered to create SRECs in the SREC markets SRECTrade currently serves.

For a PDF copy of this table click here.

Renewable Generators in GATS 8_25_11_v4

PJM Eligible Systems

As of the end of August, there were 18,112 solar PV (17,791) and solar thermal (321) systems registered and eligible to create SRECs in the PJM Generation Attribute Tracking System (GATS) registry. Of these eligible systems, 77 (0.43%) have a nameplate capacity of 1 megawatt or greater, of which only 6 systems are greater than 5 MW. The largest system, currently located in New Jersey, is 18.3 MW, and the second largest, located in Ohio is 12 MW. The third largest system, at 11.2 MW, is located in Delaware.

Beginning of energy year for DE, NJ, and PA

June 1, 2011 marked the beginning of the new energy year for DE, NJ, and PA. All requirements for these markets increase given their RPS solar carve out schedules. SRECs for the month of July, the second creation period for the new reporting year, will be minted at the end of August.

Delaware: The reporting year 2011-2012 requirement for DE equates to approximately 21 MW being online for the entire year or approximately 25,600 SRECs created. As of August 25, 2011, 20.5 MW of solar capacity was registered and eligible to create DE SRECs in PJM GATS. 11.2 MW of the 20.5 MW currently eligible is from the Dover Sun Park project developed by LS Power. In the 2011-12 compliance year, Delmarva Power has contracted to purchase 9,846 SRECs from the project, of which 7,000 are being held by the Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) until 2015-16*.

New Jersey: The reporting year 2012 requirement for NJ equates to approximately 368 MW being online for the entire year with a fixed SREC requirement of 442,000 MWhs. As of August 25, 2011, 379 MW of solar capacity was registered and eligible to create NJ SRECs in PJM GATS. While this figure represents all projects registered in GATS, there are recently installed projects awaiting issuance of a New Jersey state certification number. This delay results in a portion of installed projects not yet represented in the 379 MW figure. On July 26, 2011 the NJ Office of Clean Energy (NJ OCE) reported that as of June 30, 2011 more than 380 MW (10,086 projects) of solar had been installed in NJ. The news release noted that 40 MW were installed in the month of June. The installation data for July 2011 has not yet been released by the NJ OCE. For more details on the the current NJ market conditions see this post.

Pennsylvania: The reporting year 2012 requirement for PA equates to approximately 44 MW being online for the entire year or approximately 53,000 SRECs created. As of August 25, 2011, 124.5 MW of solar capacity was registered and eligible to create PA SRECs in PJM GATS.

Massachusetts DOER Qualified Projects

As of August 15, 2011, there were 861 MA DOER qualified solar projects; 829 operational and 32 not operational. Of these qualified systems, 11 (1.3%) have a nameplate capacity of 1 megawatt or greater, of which only 3 are between 1.5 and 2 MW. Three of the projects greater than 1 MW are currently operational.

Capacity Summary By State

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. For example, New Jersey needs approximately 368 MW online for the entire 2012 reporting year to meet the RPS requirement. 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.

*Source: State of Delaware Pilot Program For the Procurement of Solar Renewable Energy Credits: Recommendations of the Renewable Energy Taskforce