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 September 2016 edition. To receive future Journals, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PROJECT FINANCE STATISTICS
The following statistics represent some high-quality solar projects and portfolios that we are actively reviewing for investment.
Have a solar project in need of financing? Our team can provide a pricing quote for you here.
Colorado – Last month, the solar industry and Xcel reached a landmark settlement agreement regarding the future of solar in the Centennial state. Most notable for the commercial market – or projects in the 25kW – 500kW range – is a capacity limit of 24MW each year between 2017 and 2019 for the Medium Solar*Rewards program, a slightly higher rebate level, and a 25% T&G demand charge for customers using the Secondary Photovoltaic Time of Use (SPV-TOU) rate. Rebate levels for projects over 500kW will be determined by RFP. Over the last several years, commercial solar development has been stifled in Colorado by high demand charges and low energy charge rates for all but the most intermittent “low load factor” loads.
In its entirety, the Solar*Rewards program will make 225MW of solar available over the next three years. Hearings will take place this fall, and tariffs are expected to be filed in late Q4. Thank you to SEIA, COSEIA, and others for their strong advocacy in the state.
Massachusetts – The ever-patient, ever-industrious Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has released its straw proposal for the successor program to SREC II. The program will be tariff-based and run by the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) instead of the DOER. Since SREC II hit its caps, the solar industry had been advocating for an SREC III to minimize disruptions to the market and further reinventing of the wheel. There won’t be an SREC III but the industry will work diligently this fall and into 2017 to make sure the program is structured in a way that enables solar growth.
Under the new regime, tariff rates and contract terms will differ by project size, and one adder can be included from each of the following categories to boost tariff rates by a few cents: offtake of the project (i.e. low-moderate income); location (rooftop, landfill, or canopies); and for projects that align with the administration’s goals (i.e. storage).
Confusing? Yes. But, we’re here to help developers with questions. The new program is expected to go into effect in summer 2017, and DOER has assured the solar industry that they’ll do all they can to ease the transition from SREC II to the new regime.
Rhode Island– The implementation process has begun for the comprehensive solar energy package passed in Rhode Island earlier this summer. Rulemaking is ongoing for the 30MW virtual net metering pilot, which will go into effect in 2017. As part of the same legislative package, National Grid’s Renewable Energy Growth Program was extended to 2022; 2017 ceiling prices are currently under development. The third enrollment for 2016 will be open October 10 – 21st. Developers interested in submitting bids should utilize National Grid’s online portal. Sol Systems has financed projects in this program and is happy to advise on the bid process.
- In one giant step forward in the Nevada controversy that shook the solar industry, 32,000 existing solar customers will now be grandfathered under retail rate net metering until Nov. 2036.
- The New York commercial solar market continues to suffer for most, except for those projects grandfathered with monetary remote net metering credits. Anecdotally, we know of an RFP that came back with no winners; no developer could produce a rate that would save the customer money. Clearly, the New York commercial and industrial market is struggling as Megawatt Block incentive levels continue to decline. We’re keeping our eyes on the new value of distributed energy resources proceeding, which could provide some relief.
- In June, we wrote about target markets – like PJM and ERCOT – for merchant deals. And indeed, Texas is seeing increased development of solar generation assets for the purpose of offsite solar and remote PPAs. Offsite can be more attractive than onsite for two main reasons:
- ERCOT, similar to PFJ, offers a very liquid market for transacting on energy contracts and selling congestion on a market basis.
- System size is not limited to usable facility area and can be built to a much larger scale. This offers greater economic benefit and allows entities with sustainability and carbon reduction goals to more readily meet them with a single transaction.
- New Jersey legislation to “pull forward” the state’s solar carve-out from 3.47% to 4.1% by 2021 is now expected to be heard in the General Assembly in early October. This summer, New Jersey registered many solar energy systems that were previously unaccounted for, which will soon bring the market closer to oversupply.
ABOUT SOL SYSTEMS
Sol Systems, a national solar finance and development firm, delivers sophisticated, customized services for institutional, corporate, and municipal customers. Sol is employee-owned, and has been profitable since inception in 2008. Sol is backed by Sempra Energy, a $25+ billion energy company.
Over the last eight years, Sol Systems has delivered more than 500 MW of solar projects for Fortune 100 companies, municipalities, universities, churches, and small businesses. Sol now manages over $650 million in solar energy assets for utilities, banks, and Fortune 500 companies.
Inc. 5000 recognized Sol Systems in its annual list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for four consecutive years. For more information, please visit www.solsystems.com.