Guide Solar Carve-Out II (SREC II) Statement of Qualification Application

Pursuant to the revisions to the RPS Class I Regulation that were promulgated on April 25, 2014, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) carved-out a portion of the RPS Class I Renewable Energy requirement to support distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) energy facilities, as provided by the Green Communities Act of 2008. This is in addition to the original Solar Carve-Out Program, which qualified projects from January 1, 2010 through April 25, 2014.

Current Status of the Solar Carve Out II Program

In recognition of the time necessary to fully implement the new Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program and its obligation to have an orderly transition between the SREC II and SMART programs, DOER will grant good cause extension requests for projects that seek one. Under the terms of the extension, SREC II systems that qualify and can demonstrate that they are mechanically complete or operational by March 31, 2018 will receive the following SREC Factors, pursuant to the SREC Factor Guideline (NOTE: SREC II systems with a capacity equal to or less than 25 kW DC will still receive an SREC Factor of 0.8, provided the facility receives its authorization to interconnect before the effective date of the SMART program).

Market Sector

Mechanically Complete by 1/8/2017

Mechanically Complete (& 50% of Construction Cost Expended) by 5/8/2017

Mechanically Complete by 3/31/2018

Mechanically Complete After 3/31/2018

A (<= 25 kW)

1.0

0.8

0.8

0.8

A (>25 kW)

1.0

0.8

0.7

0.65

B

0.9

0.7

0.6

0.55

C

0.8

0.65

0.55

0.5

Managed Growth

0.7

0.55

0.5

0.45

In order to obtain an extension for good cause, facilities must submit a Statement of Qualification Application through the online SQA, and then complete and submit the following Good Cause Extension Request Form to DOER.SREC@state.ma.us:

SREC II Good Cause Extension Request

Statement of Qualification Application

Before a project can generate SREC IIs, DOER must qualify the project for the RPS Solar Carve-Out II. Projects may qualify as part of an Aggregation or as an Independent Generation Unit. All prospective applicants must submit a Statement of Qualification Application (SQA) via the online registration platform hosted by the MassCEC and administered by DOER.

SREC II Statement of Qualification Application (SQA)
SREC II Statement of Qualification Application (SQA) User Guide 
SREC II Statement of Qualification Application (SQA) Glossary of Terms 

Authorization to Interconnect

SREC II 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 via the online registration platform.

Project Owners that have not received the authorization to interconnect will need to qualify via the Assurance of Qualification process, which is outlined in the Guideline on the following page.

Other Required Documentation

Applicants may be required to submit other documentation depending on the type of project for which they are seeking qualification. Many of these documents can be submitted directly via the online registration platform.

Required Documentation by Project Type

Emergency Power Generation Unit

  • Copy of electric bill showing at least one year of on-site electric consumption; or
  • Estimate of yearly on-site electric consumption

Low or Moderate Income Housing

Community Shared Solar Generation Units

  • Copy of Schedule Z showing net metering credit allocation

Ground mounted projects >25 kW with 67% or more on-site use

  • Copy of electric bill showing at least one year of on-site electric consumption; or
  • Estimate of yearly on-site electric consumption

Brownfield Generation Unit

  • DOER has developed the following draft Guideline in consultation with MassDEP regarding the pre-determination of whether or not a particular site meets the definition of Brownfield in 225 CMR 14.00. 

    Guideline Regarding the Definition of Brownfield 

Landfill Generation Unit

  • Copy of MassDEP issued post-closure use permit

Member of Aggregation

Application Deadlines and Process Timeline

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.

Quarter

Application Submission Deadline

Q1

May 15th

Q2

August 15th

Q3

November 15th

Q4

February 15th

DOER Review and Approval of Application 

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.

Once a Generation Unit or Aggregation has been approved by DOER, a Statement of Qualification will be mailed to the designated Authorized Representative of the Generation 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.

DOER reserves the right to inspect sites and/or request additional technical information prior to approving or denying applications.

Role of Production Tracking System (PTS)

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 on the system owner page for the given system on the PTS website. For more information on the PTS, please visit the following webpage:

www.masscec.com/pts

Expansions to Qualified Projects

Expansions to qualified projects are permitted under the Solar Carve-Out II Program. If the expansion is to an existing system that is not qualified under the Solar Carve-Out II Program, or to a system that qualified with a different SREC Factor, it must have a separate revenue grade production meter than the original system. If the expansion is to an existing system that is qualified under the Solar Carve-Out II Program, please contact DOER at DOER.SREC@state.ma.us.

Metering, Data Reporting, and Verification Requirements

Metering Requirements

All generation from qualified solar PV projects must be individually metered and reported. Per NEPOOL GIS rules, all projects must utilize a revenue grade meter from which generation data is to be reported and conform to the Small Generator Metering Protocol found in the NEPOOL GIS Operating Rules. Projects less than or equal to 10 kW DC can report production manually or automatically. Projects greater than 10 kW DC must be reported electronically and automatically through a Data Acquisition System (DAS).

Production Tracking System

Data Reporting

Each month, the system Owner or its agent must report all metered data to the Production Tracking System (PTS), maintained by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). The reporting period for the PTS is open during the last five days of the reporting month through the first five days of the following month.

Owners or agents can report their data by logging into their assigned PTS accounts.

Penalty for Failure to Report: Owners or agents that do not report their metered data during the reporting period will forfeit their SRECs generated during the unreported period.

Verification

The PTS is the sole and required independent verifier for the RPS Solar Carve-Out program. The PTS will report all production data on a quarterly basis to the NEPOOL GIS for the purpose of generating SRECs. (Exception: Projects with their own Market Settlement System accounts on the NEPOOL GIS will report data directly to ISO New England.)

MassCEC maintains the right, but not the requirement, to audit any project's metering and reporting. MassCEC will execute specific protocols and algorithms to verify reported data and identify any out-of-bounds data. On-site project audits are triggered by PTS identification of out-of-bounds data or disputes by an Owner or aggregator.

Aggregators

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 at NEPOOL GIS, and markets and sells its members' SRECs. DOER encourages Generation Units of all sizes to take advantage of Aggregations; however, each Owner should be aware of and carefully consider the Aggregation's contract terms and fees.

An Aggregation can only be composed of solar PV projects that are eligible for the RPS Solar Carve-Out.

DOER does not recommend individual Aggregators.

Aggregations are qualified by DOER when they receive a Statement of Qualification after positive review of their Statement of Qualification Application which contains the initial set of one or more individual projects forming the Aggregation. After receiving the Statement of Qualificaiton, the qualified Aggregation can add additional projects to their Aggregation.

NOTE: While DOER no longer accepts new applications for Solar Carve-Out Generation Units, already qualified projects are free to transfer their Statement of Qualification to or from an Aggregation. For more details on this process, please contact DOER at DOER.SREC@state.ma.us.

Companies that are looking to aggregate projects, but have not yet received a Statement of Qualification are also eligible to be listed by DOER. If you wish to be listed as such a company, please provide your contact information toDOER.SREC@state.ma.us .

List of qualified Aggregators and companies that offer Aggregation services - updated November 30, 2017

System and Aggregation Transfers

If you transfer ownership of your solar system when you move, or if you decide to work with a different aggregator, you or your aggregator will need to notify DOER so that we can update our records and make sure that the correct individual or aggregation receives the SRECs. If you are working with an aggregator, you should first contact them so they can handle the transfer process for you. DOER will process your request once we receive a Change Request Form and a REC Services Agreement via email at doer.srec@state.ma.us.

System Information Updates

If you need to update the equipment information or make a correction to your system information, you will also need to let us know by sending a Change Request Form to DOER.SREC@state.ma.us. If you are working with an aggregator, you should first contact them so they can handle the request for you.

Minimum Standard Calculations

Each Retail Electricity Supplier, both regulated utilities and competitive suppliers, must demonstrate to DOER in an Annual Compliance Filing that it complied with the RPS Minimum Standard for the prior calendar year (Compliance Year). The Minimum Standard for the Class I Solar Carve-Out II is the percentage of a Supplier's total retail load obligation that must be met by the ownership of Solar Carve-Out II Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC IIs) issued by the NEPOOL GIS, with each SREC II signifying one MWh of electrical energy from a Generation Unit that has been qualified by DOER under the Solar Carve-Out II Program.

The Solar Carve-Out II Minimum Standard is part of, not in addition to, the RPS Class I Minimum Standard. The Minimum Standard for the RPS Class I Solar Carve-Out II of each year is calculated and announced in accordance with the provisions of the RPS Class I Regulation in 225 CMR 14.07(2). More details on the methodology used to calculate the Minimum Standards for Compliance Years 2016 and 2017 can be found below.

 

Compliance Year

Compliance Obligation (MWh)

Total Retail Load Obligation from 2 Years Prior (MWh)

Solar Carve-Out II Minimum Standard (%)

2014

41,279

48,992,429

0.0843%

2015

161,958

49,252,581

0.3288%

2016

377,877

48,192,291

0.7851%

2017

1,374,406

48,009,721

2.8628%

2018

1,952,434

46,864,431

4.1661%

 

2018 Minimum Standard

DOER has calculated what the 2018 SREC II Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard will be for load under contracts signed after May 8, 2016. DOER has determined that the Compliance Obligation will be approximately 1,952,434 MWh and that the Minimum Standard will be approximately 4.1661%, which is a small increase from the preliminary Minimum Standard announced in July. The 2018 Compliance Obligation for load under contracts signed on or before May 8, 2016 will be approximately 1,302,902 MWh and a final Minimum Standard of 2.7802%. The details of how the final Minimum Standards are calculated can be found here:

CY2018 Calculation of Minimum Standard Guideline

Pursuant to 225 CMR 14.07(3)(a)1, all Retail Electricity Suppliers are exempt from any incremental obligations resulting from the provisions contained in the RPS Class I Emergency Regulation filed on April 8, 2016, which expanded the Solar Carve-out II (SREC II) Program Capacity Cap. As such, it was necessary for DOER to establish a baseline Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard that would have applied had the Emergency Regulation not been filed.

To determine this baseline Minimum Standard, DOER first determined the amount of capacity that it expects would have been in operation had the SREC II Program Capacity Cap not been expanded. This amount is estimated to be the equivalent of approximately 947.7 MW.

Having determined this value, DOER analyzed the percentage shares of MW currently qualified under each of the four SREC II Market Sectors, and multiplied each of these percentages by 947.7 MW. Next, DOER multiplied these totals by the corresponding SREC Factors, a 13.71% expected capacity factor, and 8,760 hrs/year and determined the expected MWh/year for 2018 that would have resulted had the SREC II Program Capacity Cap not been expanded. Lastly, DOER added the auction volume and banked SREC II volume from the 2016 Compliance Filings. In calculating the auction volume for the CY-2 input, DOER estimated the number of SRECs generated by facilities that were both qualified after the extension went into effect on April 8, 2016 and were interconnected and generated SRECs in 2016.  Based on the application data that was available, DOER estimated that approximately 45,000 additional SRECs were created as a result of the extension; therefore the Auction volume calculated for CY-2 for the baseline is 45,000 less than the actual Auction total for that year. This resulted in a reduction of the baseline Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard from the preliminary ones announced last month and yielded a total final baseline Compliance Obligation of approximately 1,302,902 MWh and a final Minimum Standard of 2.7802%:

 

Market Sector

% Share of Qualified Capacity

MW at Original SREC II Cap

SREC Factor

Capacity Factor

Hrs/Year

Expected MWh

Market Sector A

55%

517

1.0

13.71%

8,760

621,221

Market Sector B

20%

191

0.9

13.71%

8,760

206,922

Market Sector C

17%

163

0.8

13.71%

8,760

156,796

Managed Growth

8%

76

0.7

13.71%

8,760

63,738

         

Total Generation

1,048,677

         

Rollover Auction Volume (CY-3)

45,856

         

Rollover Auction Volume (CY-2)

198,377

         

Banked Volume

9,992

         

Total Obligation

1,302,902

 

Prior Minimum Standard Calculations

CY2017 Calculation of Minimum Standard Guideline

 

CY2016 Calculation of Minimum Standard Guideline

 

Managed Growth Capacity Blocks

The 2017 Managed Growth Capacity Block has been set at zero megawatts. DOER has released the following analysis relating to its calculation of the 2017 Managed Growth Capacity Block.

2017 Managed Growth Calculation Guideline 

2016 Managed Growth Calculation Guideline 

Managed Growth Capacity Block Allocations

The following is a list of projects that have received an Assurance of Qualification and have been allocated a position under a Managed Growth Annual Capacity Block. Projects on the Waiting List are also listed.

Managed Growth Capacity Block Allocations 

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