Stakeholder Process for Development of the Solar Carve-Out Program
Beginning in January 2010, 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. Statement of Qualification Applications from facilities seeking qualification under the program were accepted through April 25, 2014.
1. In August 2009, DOER presented the original "straw proposal " 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
3. The DOER Solar Team reviewed the comments received (below) and then drafted the price support mechanism, which it presented to the public on October 23, 2009, at 100 Cambridge Street, Boston. Comments received: Comments on Price Support Mechanism
4. DOER presented the final design of the Solar Carve-Out, and 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
7. On June 8, 2010, DOER filed its final changes to the RPS Class I revised regulation which replaced 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 referred 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 Procedure 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
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.
10. 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
11. 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.
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
12. 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.
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 this draft version through May 31st. DOER received the following comments on the draft Guideline as of the April 25, 2013 deadline: Assurance of Qualification Guideline Comments
13. 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.
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)
14. On June 7, 2013, the final RPS Class I Draft Regulation was published in the Massachusetts State Register: Final Class RPS I Regulation
15. 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’s intention to file emergency regulations to address the current situation in the market, and that the outline of the emergency regulation would be provided at the stakeholder meeting on June 7.
June 7th Stakeholder Meeting Presentation
16. 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)
17. 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.
18. 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
19. 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.
DOER received the following comments on the Guideline as of the October 7, 2013 comment deadline:
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 became effective as of 11/14/2013.
225 CMR 14 Solar Guideline - Detailed Construction Costs Form DOER