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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 April 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.

PPA-RATE-April

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STATE MARKETS

Maryland – The 2016 legislative session is over, and it was a productive one for the Maryland solar industry. In sum:

  • The Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Bill passed the legislature and will become law unless vetoed by Governor Hogan. If enacted, the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) will increase from 20% by 2022 to 25% by 2020, and the solar carve-out will increase from 2% to 2.5% by 2020. This may help support SREC pricing, which has been in free fall since the beginning of the year due to perceived oversupply (we have seen multi-year investment-grade bids as low as $25/SREC).
  • Utilities will be required to grant permission to operate within 20 days under the recently passed interconnection bill.
  • Legislation extending the end date for the state’s expired production tax credit (PTC) has passed. However, no funding is currently available for the Clean Energy Production Tax Credit program at this time.

Massachusetts –There’s never a dull moment on the Massachusetts solar coaster, and the past month has been no exception. A compromise bill patching up the Commonwealth’s net metering woes has been signed into law by Governor Baker, raising the private and public caps by 3% each. Once the state hits 1600MW of aggregate net metering capacity (track the progress via Massachusetts ACA), new customers will fall under a new regime called “market net metering,” which, surprise, surprise, is less attractive (hence the compromise). After the 1600MW milestone, utilities will also be allowed to propose a “minimum reliability contribution” for net metered customers.

With the new legislation, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has the official green light to craft the Commonwealth’s next solar incentive program. Meanwhile, they released an emergency regulation to temporarily extend the life of the SREC II program, allowing for a smoother transition to the new incentive regime, which will likely be a declining block incentive, competitive procurement model, tariff, or other declining incentive framework.

There’s too much going on in MA for a quick skim to do it justice. Feel free to give our team a call to discuss market conditions or reach out to finance@solsystems.com. We’re happy to answer any questions.

New York – The New York Department of Public Service (DPS) is in the process of designing a Clean Energy Standard that will position the state to meet its 50% clean energy and renewables goal by 2030. A renewable energy credit (REC) market could be part of that future, but projects that receive other NYSERDA incentives are unable to monetize the RECs currently. In other words, the REC market will not help out tight commercial and industrial (C&I) projects in the Megawatt Block program, whose too low incentive levels have made development in this sector a challenge. This is open to public comment, and perhaps could change.

SOLAR CHATTER

  • The solar industry is abuzz with speculation on the future of YieldCos. Will some be privatized?
  • Oregon Public Utility Commission voted to keep the length of Qualifying Facilities (QF) contracts at twenty years; there was a proposal from PacifiCorp to cut the contracts to two years in length, which would have made QF projects largely unfinanceable. Good news for the Oregon solar industry and this pro-PURPA office, though maximum project sizes were reduced from 10MW to 3MW.
  • A utility-backed “smart solar” ballot initiative will move forward in November. This ballot initiative was drafted to confuse signers of Floridian for Solar Choice’s pro-solar ballot initiative which ultimately failed, but would have moved the state closer to third party financing. Instead, property tax abatement for commercial and industrial customers will be heard on the August primary ballot.
  • It’s only April, but Q2 is the time of the year when 2016 pipeline must reach financial close to meet end-of-year commercial operation deadlines. In other words, it’s time to focus on project closings.

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.

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