The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) developed a Solar Carve-Out Program for the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). According to the 2008 Green Communities Act ( Section 32 of Chapter 169 ), Retail Electricity Suppliers must provide a specified percentage of electricity generated from renewable energy sources, including solar photovoltaic. DOER was charged with determining appropriate technologies, minimum standards, and an Alternative Compliance Payment (ACP) rate for the Carve-Out.

Stakeholder Process for Development of the Solar Carve-Out Program

  1. In August 2009, DOER members presented the original " straw proposal pdf format of Solar RPS Carve-Out Program Straw Proposal - Stake
" for the Solar Carve-Out to its stakeholders. (Please note: Corrections were made to pages 11 and 12 of the proposal, after the public meeting in August and are included in the file above.)
  2. Stakeholders sent the following comments in response to DOER's presentation:

    Comments on DOER’s Straw Proposal zip format of Comments on DOER’s Straw Proposal
file size 2MB
  3. The DOER Solar Team reviewed the comments received (below) and then drafted the price support mechanism pdf format of MA RPS Solar Carve Out - Price Support Mechanism D
, which it presented pdf format of MA Solar RPS Carve-Out - Price Support Mechanism -
to the public on October 23, 2009, at 100 Cambridge Street, Boston. Comments received:

    Comments on Price Support Mechanism zip format of Comments on Price Support Mechanism
file size 2MB
  4. DOER presented the final design of the Solar Carve-Out pdf format of solar-webinar-2009dec18.pdf
, named the Solar Credit Clearinghouse, in December 2009.
  5. DOER developed emergency regulations from this final design in January 2010.
  6. DOER held a public meeting March 2, 2010 to hear oral testimony on the emergency regulations that were filed in January. DOER also accepted written comments until March 9, 2010.

    Comments on Proposed Amended Regulations 3-9-10 zip format of Comments on Proposed Amended Regulations 3-9-10
file size 1MB
  7. On June 8, 2010, DOER filed its final changes to the RPS Class I revised regulation which replaces the Emergency Regulation issued on January 8, 2010. As required by statute, DOER filed the regulation with the Clerks of the Senate and the House of Representatives, who shall refer the regulation to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy.
  8. As part of the Economic Development Act (Chapter 240 of the Acts of 2010 - section 63) signed into law by the Governor August 5, 2010 , the cap for the SREC program was changed from 2 to 6 MW. In the interest of implementing this change as quickly as permissible and consistent with the state administrative procedures act, DOER held a public comment period from September 17-24, 2010. Stakeholders sent the following written comments in response to the proposed final regulation:
    • [Placeholder for zip file of comments]
  9. DOER then made changes to the regulation based on comments received and filed the final regulation with the Secretary of State on December 20, 2010

    RPS Class I Regulation - Tracked Changes pdf format of RPS Class I Regulation - Tracked Changes

    Please note: All documents listed on this web page are unofficial and provided for informational purposes only. The only official version of each regulation is published in the Massachusetts Register, which is available through the State Bookstore.

    The final revisions include the following important changes:

    1. The revision includes (as provided in the August 20 version) the increase in the maximum size of eligible solar PV projects from 2 MW to 6 MW per parcel of land. This change reflects the amendment to the Green Communities Act of 2008 contained Chapter 63 of the Economic Development Act (Chapter 240 of the Acts of 2010).

    2. Modifications have been made in the provisions contained in 225 CMR 14.07(2) which determine the annual adjustment to the Total Compliance Obligation and, consequently, the Minimum Standard. Based on stakeholder comment and the Department's internal analysis, issues were appropriately raised about the ability of the adjustment, as provided in the August 20 regulation, to quickly re-stabilize SREC supply and demand particularly after a period of imbalance. The Department determined the stability of the market dynamics could be much improved by changing the formula to account for the past growth rate not by the difference in the Total Compliance Obligation over the past two years, but instead by the difference in the SRECs Generated over the past two years. This modification more rationally bases the solar installation growth rate on actual market activity, instead of the demand growth regulated by the Department, and hence allows for the new annual Total Compliance Obligation to more quickly adjust to the market conditions.

    Under the new formula, the SRECs Generated two compliance years earlier will be based on actual data available to the Department and the public. However, for the SRECs Generated in the prior compliance year (which is the year in which the adjustment will be calculated and announced each August), the SRECs Generated will be based on an analysis by the Department and made available to the public on projected SRECs Generated by the end of the year. (Once announced, the Total Compliance Obligation will not be updated based on actual SRECs Generated determined later.)

    The provisions in 225 CMR 14.07(2) have also been slightly modified to more carefully and appropriately adjust the Total Compliance Obligation after the 400 MW cap is reached to wind down the program in a stable and predictable manner.

    3) In Section 225 CMR 14.06(3)(b), the regulation is revised to required that all Solar Carve-Out projects in excess of 1 MW obtain all applicable state and local permits before they will be awarded a Statement of Qualification. This revision will reduce the amount of solar capacity qualified by the Department but still under early development, and thereby reduce the uncertainty as to when the 400 MW cap will be reached, and enable the Department to better project SREC generation each year.

    4) The Department has carefully reviewed and revised the body of the RPS regulation to upgrade the consistency of the language, grammar and formatting. 

  10. Solar ACP Rate Schedule Guideline

    In December 2011, DOER released a Guideline for stakeholder review to set the ACP Rates for the following ten years in a schedule. The Guideline was developed following substantial stakeholder outreach to DOER requesting that such a Guideline be implemented.

    Solar ACP Guideline pdf format of Solar ACP Guideline

    Process for Implementing Solar ACP Rate Schedule

    DOER announced it would commence a rulemaking to revise 225 CMR 14.00 with limited scope to integrate the Solar ACP Rate Schedule into the Solar Carve-Out provisions as substitute for the current section 225 CMR 14.08(3)(b)2 that provides DOER the discretion to reduce the Rate annually.

  11. March 2013 Rulemaking Announcement

    On March 1, 2013, DOER announced that it had filed revisions to the RPS Class I regulation related to the Solar Carve-Out with the Secretary of the State.

    Any interested party could submit written comments during the period which ran from:

    March 1st – March 25th, 2013

    DOER held a public hearing on this proposed regulation March 22, 2013 in the Gardner Auditorium, Massachusetts State House, Boston, MA 02133 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Any interested party could attend and give verbal testimony on the proposed changes. Parties were requested to provide written copies of their testimony.

    DOER received the following comments as of March 25, 2013 deadline:

    2012-2013 Solar Rulemaking Public Comments zip format of 2012-2013 Solar Rulemaking Public Comments
file size 5MB

  12. Assurance of Qualification Guideline

    Per 225 CMR 14.05(4)(l) of DOER’s proposed draft RPS Class I regulation, DOER developed a draft Assurance of Qualification Guideline designed to provide clarity to the queuing and review process as the 400 MW Solar Carve-Out program cap is approached.

    Assurance of Qualification Guideline - draft version 2 pdf format of Assurance of Qualification Guideline - draft version 2

    DOER received comments on its first draft of the Guideline through April 25. Based on these comments, DOER provided a “draft version 2” Guideline and accepted stakeholder comments on the this draft version through May 31st.

    DOER has received the following comments on the draft Guideline as of the April 25, 2013 deadline:

    Assurance of Qualification Guideline Comments zip format of Assurance of Qualification Guideline Comments

  13. Revisions to Draft RPS Class I Regulation Filed with Legislature

    DOER filed its draft regulation with the Clerk of the House on April 12, 2013, under the requirements of G.L.C. 25A s12. This regulation was referred to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy for its 30-day review.

    In preparing the draft regulation, DOER considered the many comments on the proposed draft regulation received at the Public Hearings and through the written comment process. The proposed draft regulation provided to the Legislature is available below.

    225 CMR 14 00 Draft Reg DOER 041213 pdf format of 225 CMR 14 00 Draft Reg DOER 041213

    The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy provided the following comments to DOER on the draft regulation on April 25, 2013:

    Joint Committee Comments to DOER (042513) pdf format of Joint Committee Comments to DOER (042513)

  14. RPS Class I Draft Regulation Promulgated on June 7, 2013

    On June 7, 2013, the final RPS Class I Draft Regulation was published in the Massachusetts State Register.

    Final Class RPS I Regulation pdf format of Final Class RPS I Regulation
- June 7, 2013

  15. Announcement of Solar Carve-Out Cap Being Reached

    DOER provided a stakeholder announcement on May 29, 2013 informing the market that the Department had received well over 400 MW of administratively complete applications for the solar carve-out program.

    DOER provided an additional stakeholder announcement on June 3, 2013 informing the market of the posting of the list of projects that had been qualified or had applications deemed administratively complete by the Department that were within the 400 MW cap, and those that were queued up in excess of the 400 MW cap. The announcement also stated DOER intention to file emergency regulations to address the current situation in the market, and that the outline of the emergency regulation will be provided at the stakeholder meeting on June 7.

    June 7th Stakeholder Meeting Presentation pdf format of Stakeholder Meeting on June 7
file size 1MB

  16. Emergency Regulation Filed (June 28, 2013)

    On June 28, 2013, DOER filed the following Emergency Regulation to address recent developments in the state’s solar PV market. DOER also provided this announcement outlining the emergency regulation, remaining regulatory process, and procedures for applicants to review their application status and deadlines to provide any outstanding documentation.

    225 CMR 14 00 062813 with Tracked Changes (June 28, 2013) pdf format of 225 CMR 14 00 062813 with Tracked Changes

  17. Public Hearing and Comments on Emergency Regulation (July 26, 2013)

    DOER held a public hearing on the emergency regulation filed on June 28th on July 26, 2013 in the Gardner Auditorium, Massachusetts State House, Boston, MA 02133 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Any interested party could attend and give verbal testimony on the proposed changes. Parties were requested to provide written copies of their testimony. Audio recordings of the verbal testimony and written comments received are posted below.

    Audio of July 26, 2013 Public Hearing

    SREC Emergency Regulation Hearing 072613 - #1 file size 3MB wma format of SREC Emergency Regulation Hearing 072613 - #1
file size 3MB

    &#xA;<p>SREC Emergency Regulation Hearing 072613 - #2 file size 3MB</p>&#xA; wma format of SREC Emergency Regulation Hearing 072613 - #2
file size 3MB

    SREC Emergency Regulation Hearing 072613 - #3 wma format of SREC Emergency Regulation Hearing 072613 - #3
file size 3MB

    DOER received the following comments on the emergency regulation as of the August 2, 2013 deadline:

    Public Comments on Emergency Regulation zip format of Public Comments on Emergency Regulation
file size 2MB - August 2, 2013

  18. Class I Regulation Finalized (October 1, 2013)

    On October 1, 2013, the final version of the RPS Class I Regulation was filed with the Secretary of State.

    RPS Class I Regulation, 225 CMR 14 00 pdf format of RPS Class I Regulation, 225 CMR 14 00

  19. Construction Timeline Extensions Guideline Development (October - November 2013)

    Draft Construction Timeline Extensions Guideline

    Per 225 CMR 14.05(4)(k)4 of DOER’s RPS Class I Regulation, DOER developed a draft Guideline designed to provide clarity to the process of obtaining an extension to the interconnection deadlines in 225 CMR 15.05(4)(k)4.

    225 CMR 14 Solar Guideline - Construction Timeline Extensions docx format of 225 CMR 14 Solar Guideline - Construction Timeline Exte

    225 CMR 14 Solar Guideline - Detailed Construction Costs Form DOER xlsx format of 225 CMR 14 Solar Guideline-Detailed Construction Costs

    225 CMR 14 Solar Guideline - Construction Timeline Affidavit DOER docx format of 225 CMR 14 Solar Guideline-Construction Time Affidavit

    Public Comments Received

    DOER received the following comments on the Guideline as of the October 7, 2013 comment deadline:

    225 CMR 14 Solar Guideline - Guideline Comments file size 3MB zip format of 225 CMR 14 Solar Guideline - Guideline Comments
file size 3MB

    Final Construction Timeline Extensions Guideline

    DOER issued a final Guideline designed to provide clarity to the process of obtaining an extension to the interconnection deadlines in 225 CMR 15.05(4)(k)4. This Guideline is effective as of 11/14/2013.

    225 CMR 14 Solar Guideline - Construction Timeline Extensions pdf format of 225 CMR 14 Solar Guideline-Construction Time Extensions
(FINAL)

    225 CMR 14 Solar Guideline - Detailed Construction Costs Form DOER xlsx format of 225 CMR 14 Solar Guideline-Detailed Construction Costs
(FINAL)

    225 CMR 14 Solar Guideline - Construction Timeline Affidavit DOER docx format of 225 CMR 14 Solar Guideline-Construction Time Affidavit
(FINAL)

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This information is provided by the Department of Energy Resources.