RPS Solar Carve-Out II Program
The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Solar Carve-Out II Program is a part of the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and is specifically designed to facilitate the development of new solar photovoltaic installations. The program is the successor to the original Solar Carve-Out Program, which was launched in 2010 and was originally designed to support the installation of 400 megawatts (MW) of new Photovoltaics (PV) installations. Both programs mandate that a certain percentage of the state’s total electricity supply must be provided by solar PV. This percentage shall increase each year until 1,600 MW of PV is installed, providing approximately 3-4% of the state’s total electricity supply. Percentages for the RPS are applied to the total electric load served by all of the state’s Load Serving Entities (LSEs) -regulated utilities and competitive electric suppliers. In order to demonstrate compliance with their obligation, LSEs must purchase Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates SRECs or SREC IIs).
DOER is no longer accepting Solar Carve-Out II applications. The SMART Program officially launched on November 26, 2018, marking the last day on which solar facilities in Massachusetts could qualify under the SREC II Program.
Your aggregator will qualify your system for SREC II by submitting a Statement of Qualification to DOER. Once DOER approves the SQA, MassCEC will register the system in the PTS. To receive SRECs once the system is registered, the Aggregator/Account Holder must agree to the SREC Terms and Conditions by checking the ‘SREC Terms and Conditions Accepted’ box on the system ‘Owner’ page in the PTS.
Finding an Aggregator
Often a solar installer will be able to provide information and options for selecting an aggregator to help you manage the sale of your SRECs. DOER does not require customers to work with an aggregator under the SREC II program, but strongly recommends that all system owners consider working with one for the following reasons: It is difficult for an individual to sell a small number of SRECs to electricity providers who are required to purchase many thousands each year, making high volume purchases preferable. Aggregators qualify your system for the SREC II program with DOER, market and sell your SRECs, and manage necessary accounts on your behalf.
In return for these services, aggregators usually collect a small percentage fee of the final sale price of the SRECs. DOER has more information on participating aggregators on their website.
Meter and Data Acquisition System (DAS) Service Providers Requirements
All generation from qualified solar projects participating in the SREC market must be individually metered and production must be reported to the PTS. NEPOOL GIS Rule 2.5(j) states that only "revenue grade" (also called "revenue quality") meters tested and certified to ANSI C-12 standards are allowed to report generation data. Please reference the MassCEC-approved meter list (for the SREC II program). To apply to have a new revenue grade meter added to MassCEC’ s approved meter list, please fill out the meter application and submit it to email@example.com. For projects less than or equal to 10 kilowatts (kW) (DC), data can be reported manually or automatically to the PTS. For projects greater than 10 kW (DC), data must be reported automatically through a Data Acquisition System (DAS) to the PTS. A list of approved Data Acquisition System (DAS) Service Providers is available.To learn more about automated reporting to PTS, please review the PTS automated reporting page, the PTS automated reporting guide, and the automated reporting best practices document. To apply to become an approved DAS Provider, please fill out the DAS application and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporting timelines for SREC II
MassCEC’s PTS team reports the SRECs (based on reported production) to NEPOOL GIS for minting once a quarter, and on a one quarter delay. Please see the below table for details. Note: In order to be guaranteed of receiving credit for production in a particular calendar quarter, you must ensure that all production from that quarter is reported to the PTS prior to the NEPOOL reporting deadlines list in the chart below. If a quarter is reported to NEPOOL before missing production is prorated, any prorated production will not automatically be captured the following reporting quarter, which may result in a loss of SRECs.
|Months||SREC's Reported to NEPOOL||NEPOOL Mints SREC's|
|Q1||Jan-Mar||July 10th||July 15th|
|Q2||Apr-Jun||Oct 10th||Oct 15th|
|Q3||Jul-Sep||Jan 10th||Jan 15th|
|Q4||Oct-Dec||Apr 10th||Apr 15th|
SREC II Pricing and Payments
SRECs are typically sold throughout the year at the going market rate. They also may be sold in the annual Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction, which DOER holds at the end of each July (if necessary). The auction is designed to provide price support in the event that the market is oversupplied and owners are left holding unsold SRECs at the end of the trading year. SRECs deposited into the auction are sold at a fixed price, which is set according to a schedule established by DOER. If electricity providers do not meet their annual obligations to purchase SRECs, they would be required to make Alternate Compliance Payments (ACP). Therefore SRECs should always sell below the ACP rate. For more information about the auction and ACP rates, see DOER’s website.
Receiving SREC II payments from your aggregator can vary (both timing and amount) by the contract you have with them, and the market value of SRECs. We recommend you carefully review and compare contracts from the aggregators and choose which option is best for you.
When does the program end?
The Solar Carve-Out and Solar Carve-Out II Programs have a combined cap of 1,600 MW. Once the cap has been met, the Minimum Standard for the RPS Solar Carve-Out II will begin to decline as the ten-year terms that PV projects have to generate SREC IIs begin to expire until no more SREC IIs exist. DOER has extended the SREC II Program, with lower SREC Factors, until the start of the SMART Program. The SMART Program is expected to launch in 2018.
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