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:
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!
The information and views expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author and not necessarily those of RenewableEnergyWorld.com or the companies that advertise on this Web site and other publications. This blog was posted directly by the author and was not reviewed for accuracy, spelling or grammar.