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The second 2014 open enrollment for the RI solar feed-in tariff will take place from July 21st to August 21st.

The second round of the 2014 enrollment in Rhode Island’s feed-in tariff program has been announced by National Grid, Rhode Island’s electric utility. The feed-in tariff is part of the state’s Distributed Generation Standard Contracts program, established in June 2011. The program awards long-term standard contracts to eligible distributed generation facilities for the purchase of energy, capacity, and RECS over a 15 year term. Upon establishment, the program called for 40MW of renewable energy procurement by the end of 2014. The program has reached 25 MW since it’s start, leaving 15MW of nameplate capacity available for the remainder of the 2014 program year, with a third enrollment scheduled for the fall in October or November.

The proposal period is scheduled to run from July 21st to August 1st. For each enrollment period, ceiling prices and capacity targets are set by the Distributed Generation Standard Contract Board, as can be seen in the table. All projects require a competitive bid price at or below the applicable ceiling price.  However, projects will also be evaluated using non-price criteria including site control and permitting, the ability to develop, finance, and construct in 18 months, technical and engineering aspects, energy resource plans, and project management experience. Price criteria vs. non-price criteria will be weighted 80:20, respectively. Categorized according to technology and size, renewable projects including wind, solar, and anaerobic digestion are all eligible for the program.

For solar, prices are fixed for 15 years, with ceiling prices ranging from $0.2730/kWh (for medium-scale) to $0.2225/kWh (for large-scale), depending on the system size and use of tax credits and bonus depreciation for financing. Lower ceiling rates can be seen across all sizes for projects utilizing bonus depreciation and PTC/ITC.

Classes and targets applicable to the Second 2014 Enrollment

Classes and targets applicable to the Second 2014 Enrollment Period

In the First 2014 Enrollment, National Grid awarded three Standard Contracts, totaling 1.860 MW of nameplate capacity, which fell short of the 5.650 MW target. Pricing fell at $0.19333/kWh for medium solar and $0.14988/kWh for large solar. The shortfall associated with the last solicitation was attributed to under representation of certain technologies, more specifically small and medium-scale solar, wind, hydropower, and anaerobic digestion.

First 2014 Enrollment Results

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While capacity is limited, the utility off-take and above-market rates will appeal to investors, providing sufficient capacity can be won or aggregated. Interested developers should contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com and allow us to help them navigate the various opportunities available in the Rhode Island market. Sol Systems has previously facilitated financing for solar projects in Rhode Island with feed-in tariff contracts.

About Sol Systems

Sol Systems is a renewable energy finance firm that provides secure, sustainable investment opportunities to investor clients, and sophisticated project financing solutions to developers.  Founded in 2008, Sol Systems focuses on meeting the industry’s most critical solar financing needs, including tax structured investments, capital placement, debt financing, and SREC portfolio management. To date, the company has facilitated financing for thousands of distributed generation solar projects and hundreds of millions in investment on behalf of Fortune 100 corporations, utilities, banks, family offices, and individuals. For more information, please visit www.solsystemscompany.com.

 

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