The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources released today proposed revisions to the Commonwealth’s renewable portfolio standard.
The proposed changes alter the program’s carve out for solar RECs. In addition, the proposed revised regulations outline conditions for generating RECs from imported landfill methane gas, expands eligibility for certain hydroelectric facilities, and sets rules for the relocation, replacement and repowering of Class I facilities.
Below are more details on the changes. If you have further questions or would like to transact, please call or email the Evolution REC Desk at (914) 323-0257.
- The following standards for the import of Landfill Methane Gas must be met:
- The gas is produced entirely within the ISO-NE Control Area or an adjacent Control Area,
- Documentation is provided, satisfactory to the Department, regarding the gas transportation and related contracts, and
- Demonstration is provided, satisfactory to the Department, that the gas can be physically delivered to the Generation Unit.
- Eligibility for Hydroelectric facilities as a Class I resource is expanded to include facilities up to 30MW. Previously 25MW was the cap.
- The "Relocated RPS Class I Renewable Generation Unit rule" contemplates the eligibility of Power Conversion Technology (PCT) that existed originally outside of the ISO NE and Adjacent ISOs. The rule allows for PCT that came online on or BEFORE Dec 31 1997 to be physically moved into the ISO NE or ADJ ISOs and be eligible to generate MA Class I RECs, so long as, those PCTs are attached to existing units inside the ISO NE or ADJ ISO and the PCTs they are attached to were online on or AFTER Dec 31, 1997.
- Repowered RPS Class I Renewable Generation Unit are eligible to receive RECs. These are Generation Units that did not utilize an Eligible RPS Class I Renewable Fuel at any time on or before December 31, 1997.
- Replacement RPS Class I Renewable Generation Unit. A Generation Unit that replaces a mothballed or decommissioned Generation Unit that had operated on the same site on or before December 31, 1997 will qualify to generate MA Class I RECs, subject to the following limitations:
- The entire Power Conversion Technology of the existing Unit is replaced with equipment manufactured after December 31, 1997, and
- The existing Unit has not been in commercial operation for at least five years prior to submission of the Statement of Qualification Application.
Solar Carve Out
- All entities will be eligible to participate and make deposits into the Solar Clearinghouse Auction. SRECs may not be deposited in multiple auctions (even when reminted).
- MA DOER will produce guidelines and develop a “Queue” to provide Assurance of Qualifications for unbuilt projects as the solar program reaches the 400 MW cap. This will allow new projects to gain clarity and assurance for being accepted into the program. The following is required to be placed in the Queue:
- An executed Interconnection Service Agreement, as tendered by the distribution company,
- Adequate site control (a sufficient interest in real estate or other contractual right to construct the Unit at the location specified in the Interconnection Service Agreement), and
- All necessary governmental permits and approvals to construct the Unit, with the exception of ministerial permits, such as a building permit, and notwithstanding any pending legal challenge.
- As announced on August 29, 2012, the MA DOER will recalculate the Compliance Year 2013 Solar carve-out Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard. This change removes the ACP volume from two years prior. The final figures will be announced two weeks from the effective date of these proposed changes.
- Retail electric sales (RES) for calendar year 2013 that were contracted prior to August 30, 2012 (Grandfathered RES load) will be subject to the initial Minimum Standard of 0.1630%. RES for 2013 contracted after August 30, 2012 will be subject to the recalculated standards. (Note: this % is pulled directly from the modified regulation, however; the expectation is a higher % will be released with the modified Minimum Standards).
- MA DOER, utilizing ACP funds, will purchase SRECs equal to the difference between the SREC requirement calculated for Grandfathered RES load using the recalculated and initial minimum standards. These purchased SRECs will either be retired by the MA DOER or sold as Class 1 RECs into the market.
- The MA DOER will alter the way the compliance obligation is calculated once demand or installed capacity reaches 400MW.
- The Opt In Term for facilities installed in the Compliance Year for which the Solar Carve Out program reaches 400 MW of supply will determine the final duration of the Solar Carve Out Program.
- Opt In Term: the period of time which a Solar Facility is guaranteed access to deposit SRECs into the Solar Carve Out Auction. Opt in Term is calculated formulaically, and can be decreased pending the amount of SRECs deposited into the Solar Auction. The initial Opt In Term is 40 quarters.
- If an Auction Occurs on the last year of the program (per the modifications with the Opt In Term) and/or minted and banked SRECS still exist the program will be extended one additional year where the SREC obligation for that year exactly equals the number of remaining SRECs
- Should demand reach 400MW prior to supply, the compliance obligation will be whichever of the following is greater: The total projected SRECs to be generated for the Previous Compliance Year OR [The total projected SRECs to be generated for the Previous Compliance Year] MINUS [the Solar ACP from two years prior] PLUS [the number of SRECs deposited in the Solar Auction from the Compliance Year 2 years prior].