The Top 3: Reflecting on PFJ Trends of Years Past

19 May 2015

PFJ 2012

Our first Solar Project Finance Journal was released in May 2012.

In honor of our seven-year anniversary, we thought it would be fun to look back at Project Finance Journals of years past and reflect on our most popular content. Here are the findings:

1) Massachusetts Rides the Solar Coaster

The Commonwealth sure knows how to keep it interesting, taking developers and investors alike on a solar coaster of regulatory uncertainty. In 2013, the market reached a standstill after its SREC program hit its 400MW cap, halting solar project development until the release of its new program, cleverly named “SREC II.” Just months after launching SREC II, the industry hit yet another wall when the state reached its net metering caps, once again halting project development. Development resumed in August 2014 after the state legislature voted to raise the cap for private solar projects from 3% to 4% of an electric distribution company’s peak load, and to raise the cap on public projects from 3% to 5%.

The solar coaster isn’t over. National Grid has hit its net metering cap, and the solar industry holds its breath once again. Oh, Massachusetts, what a ride.

2) High hopes in New York

New York’s been a solar market of high hopes, and then some disenchantment, especially in regards to the Megawatt Block Program. We take partial credit for that. In October 2014, we were giddy  about the proposed program, even going so far as to call it one of the “best cash incentive programs for solar…, incorporating a number of best practices for incentive design that should poise the market for strong, steady growth.”

Oh, NYSERDA, what a heartbreak. When Megawatt Block was released, it fell far short of expectations. Then, so did the revisions for the projects over 200kW.

Even though the margins for Megawatt Block are tight, optimism in the development community remains. Will the solar industry build projects below the necessary $2.00/Watt to make projects pencil? Perhaps, especially if costs continue to decline over the next 12-18 months. Still, we have heard that not as many applications were submitted to NYSERDA for Megawatt Block as was originally predicted.

To read our analysis comparing the New York and Massachusetts markets, check out our article in Greentech Media.

3) What will it take to get commercial solar off the ground?

As a solar finance and investment firm focusing on commercial and small utility-scale projects, much of our analysis, no surprise, is devoted to this market sector.  And, our readers like it too. Check out our video from February, which already has nearly 3,500 views.

This is an excerpt from our May edition of SOURCE: the Sol Project Finance Journal, a monthly electronic newsletter analyzing the solar industry’s latest trends based on our unique position in the solar financing space. To view the full Journal or subscribe, please e-mail


Sol Systems is a solar energy finance and investment firm. The company has facilitated financing for nearly 200MW of distributed generation 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 and project acquisition, to debt financing and SREC portfolio management. For more information, please visit 

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Sara Rafalson

Sara Rafalson