Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECS)
We will be qualifying new projects for the new SMART program beginning November 26, 2018.
Most new PV projects will be eligible to qualify for the new Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) incentive program.
If you are already in the SREC program, you will remain in the program, with no changes to your SREC account.
SREC II Transition Process
Facilities that intend to qualify under SREC II must meet the following deadlines and requirements:
Facilities 25 kW DC and Less
A facility sized 25 kW DC or less must have received its permission to operate or authorization to interconnect on or before November 26, 2018 in order to qualify for SREC II. Applicants will have until February 15, 2019 to submit an SREC II application for facilities that meet this and all other program eligibility criteria.
For more detailed information about the MA renewable energy portfolio standard go to this link; DOER.
History of Massachusetts Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) and Solar Carve-Out
The Massachusetts Solar Renewable Energy (SREC) incentive program was implemented in response to the 2008 Green Communities Act that supports energy efficiency and encourages investment in renewable energy in our state.
The law requires each regulated electricity supplier/ provider serving retail customers in the state to include 15% qualifying renewables in the electricity it sells by December 31, 2020. The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) regulates the RPS and has developed a corresponding program and rules.
In 2010 the Massachusetts’ Solar Carve-Out program was developed to provide a means for solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) to be created and verified based on the production of a solar system. This program allows electric suppliers to buy these certificates in order to meet their solar RPS requirements. All electric suppliers must use SRECs to demonstrate compliance with the RPS. All solar electric facilities in Massachusetts are eligible to participate in the program provided they meet certain criteria.
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) are Performance Based Incentives and offer a substantial revenue stream for owners of photovoltaic systems for up to 9 years!
An SREC is a tradable certificate that represents all the positive, renewable environmental attributes of electricity generated from a solar electric system. These certificates are created based on the solar production from a solar system. Each time a system generates 1,000 kilowatt hours (1 megawatt hour) of electricity, an SREC is created which can then be sold or traded.
The original program, referred to as SREC 1 was created as a Massachusetts specific solar carve-out of the New England REC market in 2010. In 2014 the program was expanded and the SREC 2 program was launched to bring Massachusetts to its goal of installing 1,600 MW of solar capacity by 2020. That capacity was reached in 2017 and the program was extended until a new one could be designed and implemented.
The SREC 2 program, which is quite different than the initial program provides different incentive factors for specific market sectors. This means that the percentage of power production eligible for SREC aggregation will depend on the system size, location and how much power is being consumed onsite for facilities over 25 kW. This ranges between 55-80%.
The price or value of an SREC is established by the state and market availability, although the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has created some market stability by offering a state Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction. This Auction ensures that if SRECs are not able to be sold on the open market, they will be purchased by the state through this mechanism.