SMART Over SREC

March 31, 2018

The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is striving to make Massachusetts the most energy-efficient state through the new Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target “SMART” Program. The SMART Program is sponsored by Eversource, National Grid and Unitil and replaces the Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) incentive program.

SMART is the new tariff program which utilizes Capacity Based Tariff Rates (kW AC), and is designed to support solar at the lowest cost to ratepayers. It is a declining block program. Key features that are distinct from SREC include:

·      10 to 20-year revenue certainty (which is dependent upon project capacity)

·       Reduction in financing risk

·       Predictable total program costs

The tariff, which is primarily based on project size, provides a long-term fixed price tariff, with a maximum project size of 5 MW per parcel of land. The incentive's generation begins upon interconnection.

The tariff is paid out “Net of energy value”, meaning the project would receive the difference between the tariff value and its power purchase agreement (PPA) value as the tariff incentive. Additional adders are available for location, and those providing unique benefits including energy storage projects, and may be combined to encourage the project being sited in the most optimal location to maximize on the tariffs available.

Unlike SREC incentive, the project does not have to wait for the SREC auction or sell off the SRECs to a third party in order to monetize them, which makes modeling and cash flow more predictable.  Also, since the project is guaranteed to get the tariff value for the first 10-15 years, there is incentive to take on projects with lower PPAs, which in turn saves energy costs for the consumers of the energy produced.

The SREC deadline is March 31, 2018, so those who have already installed and completed a solar array prior to, are eligible for the SREC Program. Those completed after March 31st are eligible for the SMART Program.

According to MASmartSolar.com, the first block of awards, as well as the Base Compensation Rate levels for the SMART Program have been set. Block 1 will reopen later in 2018 and the SMART Program will become available to solar PV projects of all types and sizes. For additional information about the SMART Program, visit Mass.gov.

We hope you enjoy this issue. As always, we welcome your comments. Email info@rodmancpa.com with your feedback.

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