On September 23rd the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources laid out their straw proposal for a new statewide policy framework to replace the SREC-II program. Instead of a SREC model, the DOER proposed a new declining block grant incentive with a tariff-based rate structure.
Under the proposed incentive, eight blocks of 200 MW each would be opened up to encourage 1600 MW of additional solar capacity in the state over the next several years.
Within each block, solar production would be compensated by a tariff at predetermined $/kWh rates to be paid to the owner of the system by the utility, rather than a SREC. Several tiers of different $/kWh compensation rates would be guaranteed for different system sizes and market segments over 10 and 15 year term lengths. Systems under 25 kW-AC would receive a $0.30/kWh incentive over a 10-year term, for instance, while a 1 to 5 MW-AC system would receive $0.15/kWh incentive over a 15-year term.
Projects on brownfield sites, community shared solar, low income solar, behind-the-meter storage, and other similar socially-beneficial projects would be incentivized by “Adders” -- $0.02-0.06/kWh increases that can be added to a project’s total incentive level.
Tariff levels in each 200 MW block would be adjusted to account for market changes over time and are estimated to decline by around 5% in each subsequent block.
Speaking to a diverse audience of solar professionals and other stakeholders, DOER’s Director of Renewable and Alternative Energy Division, Michael Judge, and the other presenters emphasized that the proposal was still very much a draft in formation. The DOER is accepting feedback and comments on the proposal through October 21, with a goal of presenting a final version by Spring 2017 and implementing the policy during Summer 2017.
For more information, slides and audio from the presentation are available online.
Comments on the proposal can be submitted via email to DOER.SREC@state.ma.us with the subject line “Solar Straw Proposal Comments.
Images courtesy of Mass CEC and “Next Generation Incentive Straw Proposal.” MA DOER. 28 Sept 2016. PowerPoint presentation. http://www.mass.gov/eea/energy-utilities-clean-tech/renewable-energy/rps...)