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 May 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.
Connecticut – Applications for the LREC (solar projects up to 2MW in size), Large ZREC (projects 250kW – 1000 kW), and Medium ZREC (projects greater than 100kW under 250kW) programs opened on April 28. Bid forms are due on June 16 at 1pm ET.
Our biggest piece of advice would be to keep your bid realistic. Competitive bid programs tend to be a race to the bottom, with developers bidding in at rates ultimately too low for projects to pencil. This leads to attrition of projects with these programs, which go through multiple iterations before all money is finally awarded to projects that can reach the finish line.
Want a second set of eyes before bid submission? Check in with our team by contacting email@example.com; we’d be happy to assist.
Ohio – Here we go again… At the end of April, Ohio state Senator Bill Seitz introduced SB 320, legislation that would extend the freeze on the state’s renewable portfolio standard. Since the original freeze bill, SB 310, passed in 2014, solar deployment plummeted from a high of 48.3MW in 2012 to only 10MW last year. To put that in perspective, Connecticut, a much smaller state, installed 91MW in 2015 alone. In addition to freezing the RPS and driving energy investments out-of-state, the bill waters down the RPS by allowing non-renewable resources to participate and introduces bold net metering provisions that would jeopardize the ability of future homeowners and businesses to choose solar. If the Seitz bill wasn’t bad enough, HB 554, introduced this month by Rep. Amstutz, would permanently freeze the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards.
Bottom line? A freeze to the RPS is uncool. If you have customers in Ohio, they can take action by going to http://action.votesolar.org/page/speakout/ohio-rps.
Oregon – We’ve written before about Oregon’s new 50% by 2040 RPS, very modest, new $.005/kWh 5-year incentive for solar projects 2-10MW, and recent changes to reduce Qualifying Facilities (QFs) from 10MW to 3MW. The solar market is very nascent, but based on information gathered after attending Oregon SEIA’s conference last week, we’re starting to see more potential for solar to shine in cloudy Oregon. For example, the Public Utilities Commission is starting to define the community solar program, which could take a year; stakeholder meetings began this week. As of now, we know that PPA terms will be 20 years, and that projects can be anywhere in the state, including the sunnier southern region. The bill credit rate will be determined by the Resource Value of Solar study that the PUC is currently undergoing. In the short term, however, we expect for most of RPS compliance to be met with wind and hydro, both of which are rich in the state.
- Good news! New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan signed legislation into law doubling the net metering cap from 50MW to 100MW.
- As we wrote about earlier this year, some investors with tax advantaged equity have shifted their focus back to larger scale projects since the extension of the investment tax credit. This means that developers may need to adjust their return expectations for commercial and industrial or even smaller utility-scale projects.
- Wondering why Rest of State is already at block 4 within New York’s Megawatt Block program? Based on the pipeline we’ve seen, much of the volume is coming from monetary projects that were grandfathered into a higher credit rate almost a year ago and are now coming to fruition.
- #MillionSolarStrong. The United States hit one million solar installations this month, or enough to power 5.5 million homes.
- The race is on. There’s a mad dash right now to complete Massachusetts projects by the start of the next solar incentive regime in Massachusetts (for projects under 25kW), or January of next year (for projects over 25kW). We’re keeping close tabs on the market and the successor program to SREC II and will be in Boston attending the emergency regulation hearing next week. Will you?
- Did you have a hard time submitting an application for California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) earlier this year? You’re not alone (and neither were we). Submissions for the “first-come, first-served” application process apparently awarded those who could best hack the system. Greentech Media explains why in an article on May 2. Expect for the program’s implementation to see some tweaks.
ABOUT SOL SYSTEMS
Sol Systems is a leading solar energy investment and development firm with an established reputation for integrity and reliability. The company has financed approximately 450MW of solar projects, and manages over $500 million in assets on behalf of insurance companies, utilities, banks, and Fortune 500 companies.
Sol Systems works with its corporate and institutional clients to develop customized energy procurement solutions, and to architect and deploy structured investments in the solar asset class with a dedicated team of investment professionals, lawyers, accountants, engineers, and project finance analysts.