DOER announces small solar set aside in SREC program

January 8, 2016

This Tuesday, DOER announced its intention to exercise its regulatory authority to create a small generation unit set aside in SREC II.  This set aside totals 120 MW.  This set aside is intended to preserve space in the program for solar projects sized 25 kW or less.  The remaining SREC capacity will continue to be allocated to solar projects on a first-come-first-served basis, as before.  Public comments on DOER's proposal will be accepted through January 19th.

DOER's announcement has been included below.

Pursuant to 225 CMR 14.05 (9)(n), the RPS Solar Carve Out II Assurance of Qualification Guideline contains provisions for the creation of a Small Generation Unit set-aside. The purpose of this set-aside is to ensure that Small Generation Units are not negatively impacted as the Massachusetts solar market approaches the Solar Carve-Out II Program Capacity Cap. 

In Section 4(F) of that guideline, the criteria for creating the Small Generation Unit set-aside is outlined as follows:

"When 60 percent of the Solar Carve-Out II Program Capacity Cap has been allocated to projects in the form of Assurances of Qualification or Statements of Qualification, the Department may establish a set-aside of the Solar Carve-Out II Program Capacity Cap for Small Generation Units with a revision to this Guideline, subject to public review and comment."  

As of January 4, 2016, DOER has qualified or approved more than 567.7 MW of Solar Carve-out II (SREC II) eligible systems, an amount that is greater than 60 percent of the total Solar Carve-out II Program Capacity Cap. After reviewing historical installation rates for projects 25 kW and under, DOER has proposed a Small Generation Unit Set-Aside of 120 MW of the remainder of the Solar Carve-Out II program. This set-aside is available only for systems with a capacity of 25 kW DC or less. To memorialize this set-aside, DOER has revised the Assurance of Qualification Guideline. Including the establishment of the set-aside, DOER has made the following revisions to the Guideline:

  1. Clarified what constitutes a complete Statement of Qualification Application (SQA);
  2. Established the set-aside for small generation units;
  3. Clarified the procedure by which qualified generation units are able to withdraw their Assurance of Qualification; and
  4. Clarified the cure process and timeline for applications that are deemed incomplete. 

These changes can be found in the draft redlined version of the Assurance of Qualification Guideline on this page on DOER’s website. At this time, DOER is accepting public comments on the proposed revisions to the Guideline. Comments will be accepted through January 19, 2016 and should be submitted with the subject line “Assurance of Qualification Guideline Comments.”

While the comment period is open, we will continue to review and qualify new applications. All applications for projects larger than 25 kW will be reviewed until the point at which DOER has issued Assurances of Qualification and Statements of Qualification for a combined 1,480 MW of capacity under both the Solar Carve-Out and Solar Carve-Out II programs. After that point, all projects with a capacity larger than 25 kW DC will be placed on a waiting list for available program capacity.