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SOURCE is a monthly solar project finance journal that our team distributes to our network of clients and solar stakeholders. Our newsletter contains solar statistics from current real-life solar projects, trends, and observations gained through monthly interviews with our solar project finance team, and it incorporates news from a variety of industry resources.

Below, we have included excerpts from the March 2016 edition.  To receive future Journals, please email pr@solsystems.com.

PROJECT FINANCE STATISTICS

The following statistics represent some high-quality solar projects and portfolios that we are actively reviewing for investment.

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STATE MARKETS

Maryland – Since the start of 2016, SREC prices in Maryland have taken a nose dive. They started the year at around $160/SREC and are now approaching the sub-$100 level. Currently, legislative action is pending to increase the Maryland renewable portfolio standard to 25% of electricity by 2025.  HB 1106, known as the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Bill, also calls for a modest increase in the solar carve-out provision with the RPS, pushing it from 2% by 2020 to 2.5% by 2020. While the Clean Energy Jobs bill will not have a dramatic upward push on SREC prices, the bill’s successful passage could possibly bring SREC prices back to where they were, closer to $120 for 2017, and to $85 for 2018. Hearings on the bill were held in committee on March 3 and 8.

Rhode Island – Massachusetts drama got you down? Check out neighboring Rhode Island, where the RE Growth Program will reopen on April 18th. Developers with solar projects over 25kW will have until April 29th to submit into the program. After April, there will be two additional Open Enrollments in 2016; the next one is tentatively scheduled for July 2016. More info at ngrid.com/REGrowth. Given high electricity prices, pricing will be attractive. Rhode Island is also an attractive market for 10MW+ wholesale projects, especially if NEPOOL renewable energy credits (RECs) are monetized with a strong strip

Oregon – Oregon has passed new legislation requiring 50% renewables by 2040. The legislation also calls for investor owned utilities to eliminate coal use by 2035, and creates a community solar program. To encourage solar development in the state, accompanying legislation will encourage solar between 2MW and 10MW with a very modest $.005/kWh incentive for five years. On top of that, avoided cost rates for qualifying facilities are much lower than other markets where PURPA has driven solar development. Despite the RPS and high solar resource in parts of the state, this market still looks too tight to pencil for much of the solar industry…for now. Biomass and thermal trash burning will also count toward RPS compliance.

SOLAR CHATTER

  • Rumor has it that Spanish wind turbine manufacturer, Gamesa, is looking at moving into the U.S. solar inverter business.
  • Governor Kasich has given some lip service to the Ohio Renewable Portfolio Standard on the campaign trail. He says he’s “not playing around.” As a reminder, an RPS freeze is OH affects solar in PA, IN, and even Virginia. Here’s a refresher explaining why.
  • It’s happening. Deal sizes are getting bigger and bigger since December 31, 2016 is no longer a “Date-That-Must-Not-Be-Named.”
  • With highly publicized turmoil among major companies, developers are increasingly valuing transaction execution capabilities over price in the project bidding process.
  • The New Jersey Senate Environment and Energy Committee voted unanimously to refer an 80% RPS bill for a vote by the full Senate. Wowza, that’s a whole lotta solar and wind.
  • Companies that were “sold out” of product for 2016 delivery in anticipation of the investment tax credit (ITC) rush are now saying they will have product available this year. Surprise, surprise.
  • We’re seeing an uptick of projects in Florida. This could pick up substantially if property tax abatement moves forward. This issue will be taken up on a ballot initiative in August
  • Solar resource in the U.S. was on average 5-10% lower in 2015 than the long-term mean. Less sunlight means lower returns from projects last year. Don’t despair –  2015 was just one low sunshine year.

ABOUT SOL SYSTEMS

Sol Systems is a solar energy finance and investment firm. The company has facilitated financing for over 400MW of solar projects on behalf of Fortune 100 corporations, insurance companies, utilities, banks, family offices, and individuals. Sol Systems provides secure, sustainable investment opportunities to investor clients, and sophisticated project financing solutions to developers. The company’s tailored financial services range from tax structured investments, project acquisition and SREC portfolio management. Inc. Magazine named Sol Systems on its annual Inc. 500 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for a second consecutive year, ranking it No. 6 in the nation’s top solar companies in 2014. For more information, visit www.solsystems.com.