Before a project can generate Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) DOER must qualify the project for the RPS Solar Carve-Out. Projects may qualify as part of an Aggregation or as an Independent Generation Unit.
Statement of Qualification Application: Process for Independent Generation Units
Projects seeking qualification as an Independent Generation Unit must submit the following three items:
- Web-based Statement of Qualification (SQA)
- PV Project Detail Form (see below for details and links)
- Authorization to Interconnect from local utility (see below for description)
Web-Based Statement of Qualification Application (SQA)
All applications must be submitted electronically (NOTE: For projects larger than 1 MW all applicable state and local permits must be obtained prior to completing the SQA). The application must be completely filled out and include all supporting documentation. Please note: Original copies must be submitted for all pages that require signatures. Electronic signatures (e.g., faxes or simulated) are not accepted. A hard copy of the signature pages must be mailed or delivered to DOER. Except in the case of Aggregations, a separate SQA must be submitted for each independent project.
Signature pages contained in the SQA with their original signatures, as well as any required supporting documentation not included in the electronic application must be mailed to the following address:
RPS Solar Carve-Out Program
Department of Energy Resources
100 Cambridge St. Suite 1020
Boston, MA 02114
Certified mail or equivalent forms of delivery are encouraged.
PV Project Detail Form
Projects that have received Commonwealth Solar II or Commonwealth Solar Stimulus Rebate Awards must submit the following Abbreviated PV Detail Form (Note: In order to submit this form you must be able to provide either the PowerClerk Application ID # or PTS ID # for each project listed):
Projects that have not received a rebate should use the following PV Detail Form:
Authorization to Interconnect
SREC generation cannot commence before the date on which the system has received the local utility’s authorization to interconnect. For Independent Generation Units and Aggregations, authorization to interconnect must be provided for each individual project; accordingly, the output of the various projects in an Aggregation can qualify on different dates.
Whether the authorization is received from the utility before applying or after receiving DOER's Statement of Qualification, the system Owner or Aggregator is required to submit to DOER documentation of that authorization.
The utility typically sends the notice of authorization to interconnect to the PV system Owner via email or mail. DOER requests that this information be sent electronically to DOER.SREC@state.ma.us.
Project Owners that have not received the authorization to interconnect before receiving a Statement of Qualification will be sent a Project Completion Form that they must submit to DOER upon receiving approval to interconnect from the utility. Once DOER has received this notification, the system's generation will be qualified to receive SRECs as of the date of the interconnection authorization. No generation prior to this date will be counted towards the quantity of SRECs.
For more information on the interconnection process, please consult the following website:
All PV Detail Forms and Authorizations to Interconnect should be emailed to DOER.SREC@state.ma.us.
Statement of Qualification Application: Process for Aggregations
Owners of solar PV systems of any size may seek qualification for the RPS Solar Carve-Out, establish accounts on the NEPOOL GIS, and actively participate in the marketing and selling of SRECs. However, Owners may find it easier to become part of an Aggregation, which represents a number of PV systems and Owners, provides qualification from DOER, establishes an account on the NEPOOL GIS, and markets and sells its members' SRECs. DOER encourages PV Systems Owner's of all sizes to take advantage of Aggregations; however, each owner must be aware of and carefully consider the Aggregation's contract terms and fees for the disposal of its members' SRECs. DOER will approve an Aggregation after it has reviewed the Aggregator's SQA, which identifies the Owner(s) of the Aggregation's first project(s). An Aggregation can only be composed of solar PV projects that are eligible for the RPS Solar Carve-Out.
Aggregators must submit the following documents/information for each member project of their Aggregation:
- Web-based RPS Class I SQA (only needed for initial qualification of Aggregation, see above for description)
- PV Detail Form (see above for description and links to appropriate forms)
- REC Purchase Agreement (only needed for projects in which the Owner is not also the Authorized Representative)
- Authorization to Interconnect from local utility (see description above)
All PV Detail Forms, REC Purchase Agreements, and Authorizations to Interconnect should be emailed to DOER.SREC@state.ma.us.
Adding Projects to a Qualified Aggregation
Once DOER approves an Aggregation, the Aggregation may add new projects without submitting a copy of the web-based SQA. To do so, the Aggregator must list any additional solar projects in the appropriate PV Project Detail forms and submit it to DOER. They must also submit a REC Purchase Agreement (if necessary) and a copy of the authorization to interconnect for each member project of the Aggregation. All of these documents should be submitted electronically to DOER.SREC@state.ma.us.
Application Deadlines and Process Timeline
Any complete SQA submitted on or before July 15th of a particular year shall receive the Opt-In Term in effect on the day it was submitted to DOER. Any complete SQA submitted on or after July 20th of a particular year shall receive the new Opt-In Term, should one be announced by DOER.
DOER, in conjunction with MassCEC, established deadlines for submitting applications for each quarter. If a project wishes to receive credit for production in a particular quarter, it must submit a complete application by the deadline for that quarter. For example, if a project interconnected on January 1st submitted an application after the Q1 deadline of May 15th, it would lose all credit for production occurring between January 1st and March 31st.
Application Submission Deadline
For more information on deadlines and the application process, please consult the following document:
DOER Review and Approval of Application
Once DOER receives a Statement of Qualification Application, it is reviewed for completeness, accuracy, appropriate signatures, and certification.
DOER will email each applicant that submits a complete and accurate application to confirm its receipt. DOER strives to notify applicants of their qualification within 30 days of receipt of their applications. All Statements of Qualification will be mailed to the designated Authorized Representative of the Unit/Aggregation. The Authorized Representative will also be notified of their qualification by email. Delays may occur during periods of high demand, vacations, and holidays.
Applications that are incomplete, inaccurate, or include ineligible projects, will not be reviewed further until the open issues have been completely rectified to the satisfaction of DOER. Within 30 days of receipt of an incomplete, ineligible, or inaccurate application, DOER will notify the applicant. The submission of incomplete applications will result in significant delays.
DOER reserves the right to inspect sites and/or request additional technical information prior to approving or denying applications.
Production Tracking System (PTS) SREC Terms and Conditions
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Technology Center ("MassCEC"), as the designated independent verifier for all SREC systems, will verify and report SREC eligible production data for solar PV systems to NEPOOL GIS on a quarterly basis. In order for MassCEC to report production data to NEPOOL GIS, the NEPOOL GIS account holder must first indicate their acceptance of MassCEC’s PTS SREC Terms and Conditions by checking a checkbox on the system owner page for the given system on the PTS website.
For more information on the PTS, its policies, and processes, please consult the following website:
Expansions to Qualified Projects
Expansions to qualified projects are permitted under the Solar Carve-Out. However, there are certain rules regarding adding capacity to an existing project. Provided there is no benefit in the length of Opt-In Term to be gained by a system adding capacity, it may utilize the same production meter as the original project. However, if an expansion results in a project being larger than 10 kW (DC) and the remaining Opt-In Term on the original project is greater than the current Opt-In Term for newly qualified projects, it must be separately metered from the existing project and be qualified as a separate project. Examples:
- IF you have an existing system with a capacity of 1 MW that you plan to add an additional 1 MW to, resulting in a 2 MW system. The original project was qualified the previous year when the Opt-In Term for new projects was 40 quarters. The original project has 36 quarters remaining on its Opt-In Term. However, the current Opt-In Term for newly qualified projects is now 32 quarters. In this scenario, you would need to separately meter and qualify the expansion to the system as simply adding it to the existing project would result in the expansion receiving a longer Opt-In Term than that for which other new projects would be eligible.
- IF you have an existing system with a capacity of 1 MW that you plan to add an additional 1 MW to, resulting in a 2 MW system. The original project was qualified the previous year when the Opt-In Term for new projects was 40 quarters years. Your project has 36 (or less) quarters remaining on its Opt-In Term. The current Opt-In Term for newly qualified projects is now 36 quarters. In this scenario, you would not need to separately meter the expansion as you would be gaining no advantage in Opt-In Term over the Opt-In Term other new projects would be receiving.
Statement of Qualification and Opt-in Term
Once a project is approved, it will receive a Statement of Qualification (SQ) from DOER. The SQ will specify, among other things, the Opt-In Term, which is the number of quarters the project can opt unsold SRECs into the Auction Account. The Opt-In Term begins on the earlier of either (a) the first day of the quarter it was interconnected, or (b) the first day of the calendar quarter after the date of the SQ. If the project is qualified before the quarter in which the project is interconnected, be aware that the Opt-In Term goes into effect from the first day of the quarter after the SQ is issued and does not wait for the project completion and interconnection. Thus, projects that apply well in advance of being interconnected run the risk of losing the opportunity to take full advantage of their Opt-In Term.
- IF your system submits a complete Statement of Qualification Application (SQ) by the Q1 application deadline of May 15th, and your system was authorized to interconnect during Q1, then the RPS Effective Date of your system is the same as your interconnection date, and your first SRECs will be minted on July 15th for the system’s output commencing from your RPS Effective Date.
- IF your SQ is granted before your interconnection date, then your RPS Effective Date will be set to begin on the first day of the following quarter. The unit’s Opt-In Term will also begin on this date. Should the interconnection letter be dated later than this, the RPS Effective Date will be set to match the interconnection date, and the Opt-In Term Start Date will remain the same. Thus, if the SQ was granted in March, and you interconnect on June 20th, you will begin to earn SRECs as of June 20th, and those SRECs will be minted at the GIS on October 15th. In this case, your Opt-In Term would begin on April 1st, the first day of the quarter after the SQ date and the quarter in which the interconnection occurred.
This information is provided by the Department of Energy Resources.