Solar stakeholders in Massachusetts are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. On Monday, March 17th, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced that they have initiated the last review necessary before finalizing the Solar Carve-Out II program. The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy finished their review of the regulation and presented their comments to the DOER on Monday, March 10th, which has now started the last 30 day clock during which the DOER must consider the Joint Committee’s comments.
During a presentation at the NECA Renewable Energy Conference in Westborough, MA last week, the DOER mentioned the comments received from the Joint Committee were favorable and thus they plan to file the final regulation on April 11th with the expectation that the SREC-II program will become effective two weeks later on April 25th. This means the DOER may very well begin receiving applications for the SREC-II program as early as May 1st, although this date has yet to be finalized.
In addition to this timeline announcement, the DOER also issued a request for comments on the draft Assurance of Qualification guidelines recently posted on their website. The Assurance of Qualification is a new concept for the solar market in Massachusetts. Prior to the addition of the Assurance of Qualification process, projects would only receive qualification into the solar carve-out program once they had been granted approval to interconnect to the grid. This new process will allow for projects, especially those in the Managed Growth Sector, to receive an early indication as to whether or not their system will qualify for the SREC-II program in a given year. As the draft guidelines state, the anticipated process will occur as outlined below.
Each solar project seeking a State of Qualification (SQ) must either provide evidence that the project has been granted approval to interconnect to the grid by the local utility, or apply for an Assurance of Qualification by providing evidence of the following:
- An executed Interconnection Service Agreement (ISA) from the interconnecting utility;
- Adequate site control (a sufficient interest in real estate or other contractual right to construct the project at the location specified in the ISA); and
- All necessary governmental permits and approvals to construct the project with the exception of ministerial permits, such as a building permit, and notwithstanding any pending legal challenge(s) to one or more permits or approvals.
This process has been designed by the DOER to closely mirror the process for obtaining a Cap Allocation under the Net Metering System of Assurance in Massachusetts. The DOER has asked all stakeholders to provide comments on these draft guidelines with a focus particularly on Extended Reservation Periods. The DOER will be accepting these comments through March 28th, and all comments should be directed to DOER.SREC@state.ma.us and should contain the subject line “Assurance of Qualification Guideline Comments.
Sol Systems will continue to track the progress of the regulation, as well as the draft Assurance of Qualification Guidelines. In addition, Sol Systems will release a blog shortly following this one analyzing in further detail the projected structure of the SREC program and how it will impact SREC prices. Stay tuned!
Developers interested in financing options for commercial Massachusetts solar projects can contact our project finance team at email@example.com or (888) 235-1538 ext. 1. Our team is happy to discuss your project with you and assess financing opportunities. Solar installers with customers in need of SREC options in Massachusetts can contact our SREC services team at firstname.lastname@example.org or (888) 235-1538 ext. 1.
About Sol Systems
Sol Systems is a boutique financial services firm that offers investor clients direct access to the solar class and provides developers with sophisticated project financing solutions. Founded in 2008, Sol Systems focuses on meeting the most critical needs of the industry, including SREC monetization, capital placement, tax equity, and New Market Tax Credits. To date, the company has facilitated financing for thousands of projects and facilitated hundreds of millions in investment on behalf of Fortune 100 companies, private equity, family offices and individuals.
For more information, please visit www.solsystemscompany.com.