After months of regulatory uncertainty, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) finalized the MA SREC II extension details on Wednesday, March 22. This decision provides much-needed certainty to the #7 solar market in the country as it transitions from its incumbent SREC program to a new, tariff-based program, SMART.

Massachusetts Solar: A History

The MA SREC II program went into effect in April 2014. The program was designed to piggyback off the success of its predecessor, cleverly named SREC I. SREC II was originally designed to align with former Governor Deval Patrick’s 1600MW by 2020 goal. This goal was blown out of the water when the cap was hit in early 2016.

Over the past year, the DOER has worked tirelessly to design a new incentive program. But, unlike previous incentive regimes in Massachusetts, the new program, Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART), will not have an SREC component. A complete program redesign, unsurprisingly, takes time, and has created a disruption in the market. Developers had not been able to successfully “sell” or finance solar projects without color into project economics. This is why the announcement last week was so critical to getting the Massachusetts solar market back on track.

SREC II Extension Details

The decision on Wednesday finalized the details of the extension. Most importantly, it creates a definitive deadline for SREC II, and shares final SREC factors for the duration of the program. Read on to determine which SREC factors apply to your project.

As a refresher, the original SREC Factors for MA SREC II are listed in the table below.

Market Sector Generation Unit Type SREC Factor
A 1. Generation Units with a capacity of <=25 kW DC
2. Solar Canopy Generation Units
3. Emergency Power Generation Units
4. Community Shared Solar Generation Units
5. Low or Moderate Income Housing Generation Units
1.0
B 1. Building Mounted Generation Units
2. Ground mounted Generation Units with a capacity > 25 kW DC with 67% or more of the electric output on an annual basis used by an on-site load
0.9
C 1. Generation Units sited on Eligible Landfills
2. Generation Units sited on Brownfields
3. Ground mounted Generation Units with a capacity of <= 650 kW with less than 67% of the electrical output on an annual basis used by an on-site load.
0.8
Managed Growth Unit that does not meet the criteria of Market Sector A, B, or C. 0.7

1) Projects that meet the below qualifications are eligble for the following SREC factor:

  • Received authorization to interconnect by January 8, 2017 or
  • The nameplate capacity of the system is over 25 kW and you demonstrate that the system’s interconnection is contingent upon receipt of notice of authorization to interconnect from the EDC by January 8, 2017
Market Sector SREC Factor
A 1.0
B 0.90
C 0.80
Managed Growth 0.70

2) Projects that meet the below qualifications are eligble for the following SREC factors:

  • A nameplate capacity less than or equal to 25kW DC and received authorization to interconnect after January 8, 2017 or
  • A nameplate capacity greater than 25kW DC that receives an extension pursuant to MA 225 CMR 14.05(9)(s)4.a
Market Sector SREC Factor
A 0.80
B 0.70
C 0.65
Managed Growth 0.55

3) Projects that meet the below qualifications are eligble for the following SREC factors:

If the project is greater than 25kW DC; has not received an extension prior to the release of this March 2017 guideline; is mechanically complete or authorized to interconnect by March 31, 2018, and receives an extension for good cause:

Market Sector SREC Factor
A 0.70
B 0.60
C 0.55
Managed Growth 0.50

4) Projects that meet the below qualifications are eligble for the following SREC factors:

If the project is greater than 25kW DC; has not received an extension prior to the release of the March 2017 guidelines; is not mechanically complete or operational as of March 31, 2018, and receives an extension for good cause, the system is eligible for the following SREC factors:

Market Sector SREC Factor
A 0.65
B 0.55
C 0.50
Managed Growth 0.45

What Happens Next?

Now that the MA solar industry has more certainty regarding its regulatory framework for the immediate future, the next step is the updated draft of the SMART program, which is expected to be released sometime in April. A public comment period will follow the release of SMART.

Note that if the effective date of the SMART program has not occurred by July 1,2018 the DOER reserves the right to further reduce the SREC factors for projects over 25kW DC.

Sol Systems applauds DOER for its efforts, and all the work its done to spur economic growth in Massachusetts. Today, Massachusetts has 14,582 solar jobs and has established itself as a national leader in solar energy deployment.

Stay tuned to our blog for more details to come on the SMART program.

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Over the last eight years, Sol Systems has delivered more than 500MW 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.

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