Guide APS Renewable Thermal Statement of Qualification Application

Anyone who wants a Generation Unit to be qualified for participation in the APS Renewable Thermal program must apply for a Statement of Qualification (SQA). This page includes directions for applying for the APS Renewable Thermal SQA.

Eligibility Criteria

All Renewable Thermal Generation Units must:

  • Generate useful thermal energy using sunlight, biomass, biogas, biofuel or naturally occurring temperature differences in ground, air or water
  • Deliver a useful thermal load to a facility located in Massachusetts
  • Have an operation date January 15th 2015 or later

 Eligible APS Renewable Thermal technologies include:

For more information on each individual technology, please visit our technology specific pages, above, or review the APS Program One Pagers, below. 

General APS Overview 

Small (residential scale) Solar Hot Water 

Small (residential scale) Air Source Heat Pumps 

Small (residential scale) Ground Source Heat Pumps

Intermediate and Large Solar Hot Water

Intermediate and Large Solar Hot Air

Intermediate and Large Air Source Heat Pumps 

Intermediate and Large Ground Source Heat Pumps

Intermediate and Large Woody Biomass 

Program Guidelines and Supplemental Information

The following regulations and guidelines provide all the necessary information to submit an APS Statement of Qualification Application:

225 CMR 16: Alternative energy portfolio standard (APS)

Guideline on Metering and Calculating the Useful Thermal Output for Renewable Thermal Generation Units – Part 1 (Calculations for Small and Intermediate Generation Units)

Guideline on Metering and Calculating the Useful Thermal Output for Renewable Thermal Generation Units – Part 2 (Metering for Intermediate and Large Generation Units)

Guideline on Biomass, Biogas, and Biofuels for Eligible Renewable Thermal Generation Units

Guideline on Multipliers for Renewable Thermal Generation Units

Guideline on Reduction of Greenhouse Gases for Eligible Renewable Thermal Generation Units Using Eligible Woody Biomass

Guideline on Biomass Reporting Procedures

Guideline on Metering and Calculations for Fuel Cell Generation Units

On January 11th and 12th, DOER hosted Stakeholder Information Sessions to review the finalized program requirements for each technology. The slides from these sessions can be seen below. 

Massachusetts Renewable Thermal Stakeholder Sessions 1 and 2 (Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps and Solar Thermal)

Massachusetts Renewable Thermal Stakeholder Sessions 3 and 4 (Woody Biomass and Liquid Biofuel)

On January 16th, DOER hosted a webinar to walk through the web application for renewable thermal systems in the APS. The recording of the webinar can be seen below. 

Applying to the Massachusetts' Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard 

Incentive Estimator Tool

For small Generation Units and intermediate biomass Generation Units under 134,000 Btu/hr capacity the tool below can be used to estimate the number of AECs and the approximate APS incentive value. For the remaining intermediate and large Generation Units, the APS Renewable Thermal Performance Workbook, see below, can be used as an incentive estimator. 

Please note, this tool is for informational purposes only and is intended to be used as a resource, and not a guarantee of an incentive. 

APS Renewable Thermal AEC Calculator for Unmetered Systems

Size Classifications

All renewable thermal Generation Units are classified into three sizes, small, intermediate, or large. The breakdown of each size classification can be seen below:

The size classification of a Generation Unit determines the metering methodology that must implemented for APS implementation. More information on metering methodologies can be found in the Guideline on Metering and Calculating the Useful Thermal Output for Renewable Thermal Generation Units, see above. 

Small Generation Units do have the option to be classified as either intermediate or large Generation Units if they wish to forgo pre-minting or forward minting and instead meter their production. Intermediate Generation Units also have the option to be classified as large Generation Units if they wish to fully meter their production. Generation Units which opt to change their size classification must notify the Department in their Statement of Qualification Application and must remain their chosen size classification for the duration of their qualification period.

Multipliers

In order to provide a meaningful incentive to APS renewable thermal Generation Units, DOER has established the following multipliers:

In addition to the above multipliers, any air source or ground source heat pumps are eligible for one additional multiplier of 2 (added to their base multiplier above) if they meet any of the following requirements:

  • the building achieves a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index rating of 50 or less as defined by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) system, and as documented by a Certified RESNET Professional
  • the building meets the definition of “Zero Energy” as defined by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) publication “A Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings,” dated 15 September 2015, and as documented in the application by a Massachusetts licensed Professional Engineer
  • the building is PHIUS+ Certified by the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS), as documented by a PHIUS-recognized Passive House Consultant (CPHC© )
  • the building is registered as a Certified Passive House Building or an EnerPHit Retrofit by the International Passive House Association (iPHA), as documented by a iPHArecognized Certified Passive House Designer.

Multiplier values are applied to the Useful Thermal Energy generated by the system. 

AECs = Useful Thermal Energy (MWH) * ( base multiplier + additional multiplier) 

Application Instructions

The APS Renewable Thermal application is a web-based application form hosted by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's Production Tracking System. In order to qualify an APS eligible Generation Unit. applicants must register in the online application portal by creating a username and password and complete the application for each system they wish to qualify. Once applicants have registered, they will be able to save new applications and log out and reenter the application platform. Please note, all system owners are encouraged to work with an aggregator, see information below, who may submit the application on their behalf. 

APS Renewable Thermal Application Portal 

For how to use the APS Renewable Thermal Application Portal please consult the video below.

Applying to the Massachusetts' Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard

For the following technologies, all applicants should contact DOER at thermal.DOER@state.ma.us for more information. 

  • Intermediate liquid biofuels systems 
  • Deep geothermal systems
  • Solar sludge drying systems 
  • Compost heat exchange systems

Application Attachements

The following table indicates the attachments that are required for a Statement of Qualification Application, per technology and size classification:

The following documents are required for a system submitting a Statement of Qualification Application, as noted above:

AEC Service Agreement

APS Renewable Thermal Independent Verifier Request Form

APS Renewable Thermal Performance Workbook - ASHP

APS Renewable Thermal Performance Workbook - GSHP

APS Renewable Thermal Performance Workbook - Solar Thermal

APS Renewable Thermal Performance Workbook - Other (Including biomass, compost heat exchange, solar sludge dryers, and deep geothermal)

Application Deadlines

DOER has established deadlines for submitting applications for each quarter. If a system 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

Quarter

Application Submission Deadline

Q1

May 15th

Q2

August 15th

Q3

November 15th

Q4

February 15th

Aggregators

DOER encourages Owners of all sizes and technologies to take advantage of Aggregations, managed by an aggregators. An aggregator provides the benefits of managing the qualification process through DOER, establishing a NEPOOL GIS account and asset ID on behalf of the Generation Unit, and the marketing and sale of a Generation Unit's AECs. Owner should be aware of and carefully consider the aggregator’s contract terms and fees for the disposal of its members' AECs. A reference list of aggregators working in the Massachusetts market is provided below. 

An Aggregation can only be composed of projects that are of the same technology, located in the same state, and each meet all applicable eligibility criteria for qualification under APS.

If the system is part of an Aggregation and the system owner and aggregator are separate entities, than the following document must be signed by each party attesting that a contract has been signed and should the contract be terminated DOER will be notified within 30 days. 

List of Aggregators

Independent Verifiers

All intermediate and large Generation Units (except intermediate biomass systems less than 0.134 MMBtu/hr capacity) are required to contract with an Independent Verifier (Third Party Meter Reader), also referred to as an IV. The duty of the IV is to access/read the output of each meter of the unit, assure itself that the reading is reasonable, and accurately report the generation of the unit to the NEPOOL GIS (GIS) on a quarterly basis. Such reporting is done via the IV's own account at the GIS. DOER has provided a list of Massachusetts RPS/APS Qualified IVs for reference below. However, applicants are not required to select an IV from the list and the inclusion of an IV on the list does not necessarily guarantee its approval for all Generation Units. All applicants must attach the Independent Verifier Request Form to the online application and provide the details on the IV chosen. If the chosen IV is not already registered at the GIS, the IV must register via the GIS homepage ( www.nepoolgis.com); such registration can be completed only when the Department informs the GIS it has approved the IV for that Generation Unit.

All small Generation Units and intermediate biomass Generation Units less than 0.134 MMBtu/hr do not need to contract with an Independent Verifier, as the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center will act as the Independent Verifier for all of these systems. 

RPS/APS List of Independent Verifiers 

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