News Article | May 2, 2017
Spire Europe Limited has changed name to Tower Research Capital Europe Limited. This change will be effective in Genium INET as of Tuesday, 2nd of May, 2017. The member identities SRE, SREA, SREB, SREC, SRED in Genium INET will remain unchanged. Member: Tower Research Capital Europe Limited GENIUM INET ID: SRE, SREA, SREB, SREC, SRED Valid in Genium INET system as of: The 2nd of May, 2017 For further information concerning this exchange notice please contact Linda Wallander, telephone + 44 77 8561 6500.
News Article | May 5, 2017
WALL, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, New Jersey Resources (NYSE:NJR) reported results for the second quarter of fiscal 2017 as New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG), NJR Clean Energy Ventures (NJRCEV) and NJR Midstream drove the company’s financial performance. Key highlights in the second fiscal quarter include: “We delivered strong second-quarter results driven by higher utility base rates, overall customer growth and solid contributions from our clean energy and midstream assets,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of New Jersey Resources. “Based on our year-to-date performance, we expect to meet our net financial earnings guidance of $1.65 to $1.75 per share for the year.” Net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2017 totaled $114.7 million, or $1.33 per share, compared with $73.4 million, or $.85 per share, during the same period last year. Fiscal 2017 year-to-date net income totaled $149.6 million, or $1.74 per share, compared with $123.6 million, or $1.44 per share, during the same period in fiscal 2016. Second-quarter fiscal 2017 NFE totaled $104.1 million, or $1.21 per share, compared with $77.9 million, or $.91 per share, during the same period last year. Fiscal 2017 year-to-date NFE totaled $144.5 million, or $1.68 per share, compared with $129.2 million, or $1.51 per share, during the same period in fiscal 2016. A reconciliation of net income to NFE for the second quarter of fiscal years 2017 and 2016 is provided below. NFE is a financial measure not calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) of the United States as it excludes all unrealized, and certain realized, gains and losses associated with derivative instruments, net of applicable tax adjustments. For further discussion of this financial measure, please see the explanation below under “Non-GAAP Financial Information.” A table detailing NFE for the three and six months ended March 31 of fiscal years 2017 and 2016 is provided below. NJR reaffirmed fiscal 2017 NFE guidance of $1.65 to $1.75 per share, subject to the risks and uncertainties identified below under “Forward-Looking Statements.” NJR expects its regulated businesses to generate between 60 to 75 percent of total NFE, with NJNG continuing to be the largest contributor. The following chart represents NJR’s current expected contributions from its subsidiaries for fiscal 2017: In providing fiscal 2017 NFE guidance, management is aware there could be differences between reported GAAP earnings and NFE due to matters such as, but not limited to, the positions of our energy-related derivatives. Management is not able to reasonably estimate the aggregate impact of these items on reported earnings and, therefore, is not able to provide a reconciliation to the corresponding GAAP equivalent for its operating earnings guidance without unreasonable efforts. NJNG, the company’s regulated utility, reported second-quarter fiscal 2017 NFE of $60.2 million, compared with $49 million during the same period in fiscal 2016. Fiscal 2017 year-to-date NFE at NJNG were $90.6 million, compared with $79.9 million during the same period last year. This strong performance was driven primarily by higher base rates and utility gross margin from new customer additions. NJNG expects to finish fiscal 2017 near the midpoint of its guidance range, representing year-over-year NFE growth of 10 to 15 percent. During the first six months of fiscal 2017, NJNG added 4,130 new customers, compared with 3,655 during the same period of fiscal 2016. NJNG expects to add approximately 9,000 new and conversion customers in fiscal 2017, up from the 8,300 previously reported. The increase is due to Superstorm Sandy-affected customers, who are expected to have service reconnected within this fiscal year. NJNG expects new and conversion customers to contribute approximately $5.2 million annually to utility gross margin. NJNG expects to invest approximately $100 million to $110 million to add a total of 26,000 to 28,000 new customers through fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2019, representing an annual new customer growth rate of approximately 1.7 percent and a cumulative increase in utility gross margin of approximately $15.6 million. For more information on utility gross margin, please see “Non-GAAP Financial Information” below. In the first six months of fiscal 2017, NJNG’s gross margin-sharing BGSS incentive programs contributed $6.7 million to utility gross margin, compared with $8.3 million during the same period in fiscal 2016. The lower results reflect a decrease in the value of capacity and lower volumes associated with the capacity release program, compared with the previous year. NJNG continually invests significant capital in its system to ensure safe, reliable and resilient service. Below are key project updates. Southern Reliability Link (SRL) will provide a second interstate pipeline feed into NJNG's service territory strengthening its overall system. On February 24, 2017, the SRL received approval of its New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection permits. Additionally, NJNG is working to obtain easements and road opening permits and the New Jersey Pinelands Commission is scheduling a vote on the certificate of filing. Once approved, the construction process will begin. NJNG expects the SRL to be in service in fiscal 2018. New Jersey Reinvestment in System Enhancement (NJ RISE) Program is a five-year, $102.5 million investment to enhance system resiliency and improve NJNG service disruption response. Since the inception of NJ RISE in 2014, NJNG has invested $20 million in the program. On April 26, 2017, NJNG completed the installation of a secondary feed from Rumson into Sea Bright. The next major project to be completed is the reconstruction of the Ship Bottom Regulator Station on Long Beach Island, which is expected to be operational in June 2017. The remaining four projects are scheduled for completion during fiscal 2019. Safety Acceleration and Facilities Enhancement (SAFE) Program II is a five-year program designed to replace the remaining 276 miles of unprotected steel main and associated services in NJNG's distribution system. During the first six months of fiscal 2017, NJNG invested $15.3 million in SAFE II to replace 31 miles of unprotected steel main. As part of this program, NJNG will earn an Allowance for Funds Used During Construction (AFUDC) rate on its invested capital during construction, and will request recovery for the approved $157.5 million of SAFE II spending in annual filings. As a condition of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approval, NJNG is required to file a base rate case no later than November 2019. Both the NJ RISE and SAFE II programs are eligible for annual base rate increases. On March 31, 2017, NJNG filed its annual petition with the BPU requesting a base rate change in the amount of $4.3 million for the recovery of NJ RISE and SAFE II capital costs through June 30, 2017, pursuant to the BPU order dated September 23, 2016. The filing will be updated to reflect actual results in July 2017, with changes to base rates effective October 1, 2017. In the first six months of fiscal 2017, SAVEGREEN, NJNG’s energy-efficiency program, invested $6.9 million in grants and financing options to help customers make upgrading to high-efficiency natural gas equipment more affordable. The program runs through December 31, 2018 and supports New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan. Over the life of the program, NJNG has approval to invest nearly $220 million in SAVEGREEN and is authorized to earn an overall return on its investments, ranging from 6.69 to 7.76 percent, with a return on equity (ROE) that ranges from 9.75 to 10.3 percent. The recovery period varies from two to 10 years, depending on the type of investment. NJRCEV, the unregulated clean energy subsidiary of NJR, reported NFE of $22.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2017 compared with $11.8 million during the same period in fiscal 2016. Fiscal 2017 year-to-date NFE totaled $25.6 million, compared with $19.5 million during the same period last year. The results for the quarter reflect increased margin from operating assets, as well as increased tax credits. Nearly all of the solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) sales in fiscal 2017 from NJRCEV’s in-service solar facilities are hedged and fiscal 2017 revenue from SREC sales is expected to be approximately 15 to 20 percent higher than fiscal 2016. A further discussion of tax credits and NJR’s effective tax rate is provided below. NJRCEV’s residential solar program, The Sunlight Advantage®, added 688 residential customers during the first six months of fiscal 2017, totaling 6.3 megawatts (MWs) of capacity, compared with 291 customers and 2.5 MWs of capacity added during the same period in fiscal 2016. NJRCEV has four commercial solar projects under construction in New Jersey, representing a $56 million investment with a combined installed capacity of 24.1 MWs. Solar-related capital expenditures for investment tax credit (ITC)-eligible projects during fiscal 2017 are expected to be between $97 million and $110 million, compared with $85.6 million ITC-eligible projects during fiscal 2016. NJR Energy Services (NJRES), NJR’s wholesale energy services provider, reported second-quarter fiscal 2017 NFE of $15.7 million, compared with $17 million during the same period in fiscal 2016. Fiscal 2017 year-to-date NFE were $19.2 million, compared with $27.3 million during the same period last year. NJRES’ results reflect the variability and timing of market opportunities related to certain storage and transportation assets from year to year. We remain confident NJRES will contribute between 5 and 15 percent of total NFE in fiscal 2017. NJR Midstream, the company’s natural gas midstream asset segment, reported NFE of $4.9 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2017, compared with $2.2 million during the same period in fiscal 2016. NJR Midstream reported fiscal 2017 year-to-date NFE of $7.3 million, compared with $4.6 million during the same period last year. These increased results were due primarily to net financial earnings from AFUDC associated with our investment in the PennEast Pipeline project. The PennEast Pipeline Project received its Final Environmental Impact Statement from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on April 7, 2017. The 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline is July 7, 2017. PennEast estimates the pipeline will be in service by the first quarter of fiscal 2019. NJR Home Services (NJRHS), the company’s unregulated retail and appliance service subsidiary, reported a net financial loss of $1.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2017, compared with a net financial loss of $2.1 million during the same period last year. NJRHS reported a fiscal 2017 year-to-date loss of $2.5 million, compared with a loss of $2.5 million during the same period in fiscal 2016. Net financial losses are typical for NJRHS during the first six months of the fiscal year due to the timing of service contract revenue recognition. Commercial Realty and Resources (CR&R), the commercial real estate subsidiary of NJR, includes undeveloped land, as well as energy-related assets that were formerly part of NJR Energy. In the first six months of fiscal 2017, CR&R recorded net gains of $3.2 million from the sale of available-for-sale securities and $1.1 million associated with the sale of a property. Fiscal 2017 year-to-date NFE for NJRHS and Other Operations were $2.3 million, compared with a net financial loss of $1.8 million during the same period in fiscal 2016. NJR’s effective tax rate is significantly impacted by the amount of tax credits that are forecasted to be earned during the fiscal year. GAAP requires NJR to estimate its annual effective tax rate and use this rate to calculate its year-to-date tax provision. Based on projects completed in the second quarter, NJRCEV’s forecast of projects to be completed for the balance of the fiscal year and related ITCs, as well as projected GAAP pre-tax income for the year, NJR’s estimated annual effective tax rate is 15.6 percent, compared with 17.7 percent during the same period last year. Accordingly, $29.8 million related to tax credits, net of deferred taxes, were recognized during the first six months of fiscal 2017, compared with $21.9 million, net of deferred taxes, in the same period last year. For NFE purposes, the effective tax rate for fiscal 2017 is estimated at 12.7 percent and $39.8 million of tax credits were recognized during the first six months of fiscal 2017, compared with a 16.6 percent tax rate and $24.5 million of tax credits during the same period last year. For a further discussion of this tax adjustment and reconciliation to the most comparable GAAP measure, please see the explanation below under “Non-GAAP Financial Information.” The estimated effective tax rate is based on information and assumptions that are subject to change, and may have a material impact on quarterly and annual NFE. Factors considered by management in estimating completion of projects during the fiscal year include, but are not limited to, board of directors’ approval, regulatory approval, execution of various contracts including power purchase agreements, construction logistics, permitting and interconnection completion. See the “Forward-Looking Statements” section of this news release for further information regarding the inherent risks associated with solar and wind investments. NJR will host a live webcast to discuss its financial results today at 10 a.m. EST. A few minutes prior to the webcast, go to njresources.com and select “Investor Relations,” then scroll down to the “Events & Presentations” section and click on the webcast link. This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. New Jersey Resources (NJR or the Company) cautions readers that the assumptions forming the basis for forward-looking statements include many factors that are beyond NJR’s ability to control or estimate precisely, such as estimates of future market conditions and the behavior of other market participants. Words such as “anticipates,” “estimates,” “expects,” “projects,” “may,” “will,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “should” and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements and such forward-looking statements are made based upon management’s current expectations, assumptions and beliefs as of this date concerning future developments and their potential effect upon NJR. There can be no assurance that future developments will be in accordance with management’s expectations, assumptions and beliefs or that the effect of future developments on NJR will be those anticipated by management. Forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not limited to, certain statements regarding NJR’s NFE guidance for fiscal 2017, forecasted contribution of business segments to fiscal 2017 NFE, future NJNG customer growth, future NJNG capital expenditures and infrastructure investments, NJRCEV’s onshore wind and solar investments, SREC sales, the results of future base rate cases, earnings growth, as well as the PennEast Pipeline project. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from NJR’s expectations include, but are not limited to, weather and economic conditions; demographic changes in NJR’s service territory and their effect on NJR’s customer growth; volatility of natural gas and other commodity prices and their impact on NJNG customer usage, NJNG’s BGSS incentive programs, NJRES operations and on our risk management efforts; changes in rating agency requirements and/or credit ratings and their effect on availability and cost of capital to our Company; the impact of volatility in the credit markets on our access to capital; the ability to comply with debt covenants; the impact to the asset values and resulting higher costs and funding obligations of our pension and post-employment benefit plans as a result of potential downturns in the financial markets, lower discount rates, revised actuarial assumptions or impacts associated with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; accounting effects and other risks associated with hedging activities and use of derivatives contracts; commercial and wholesale credit risks, including the availability of creditworthy customers and counterparties, and liquidity in the wholesale energy trading market; the ability to obtain governmental and regulatory approvals and land use rights such as those necessary for the PennEast Pipeline project, electric grid connection (in the case of clean energy projects) and/or financing for the construction, development and operation of our unregulated energy investments and NJNG’s infrastructure projects in a timely manner; risks associated with the management of our joint ventures and partnerships, and investment in a master limited partnership; risks associated with our investments in clean energy projects, including the availability of regulatory and tax incentives, the availability of viable projects, our eligibility for ITCs and Production Tax Credits (PTCs), the future market for Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) and electricity prices, and operational risks related to projects in service; timing of qualifying for ITCs and PTCs due to delays or failures to complete planned solar and wind energy projects and the resulting effect on our effective tax rate and earnings; the level and rate at which NJNG’s costs and expenses are incurred and the extent to which they are allowed to be recovered from customers through the regulatory process, including through future base rate case filings; access to adequate supplies of natural gas and dependence on third-party storage and transportation facilities for natural gas supply; operating risks incidental to handling, storing, transporting and providing customers with natural gas; risks related to our employee workforce; the regulatory and pricing policies of federal and state regulatory agencies; the costs of compliance with present and future environmental laws, including potential climate change-related legislation; the impact of a disallowance of recovery of environmental-related expenditures and other regulatory changes; environmental-related and other litigation and other uncertainties; risks related to cyber-attack or failure of information technology systems; and the impact of natural disasters, terrorist activities and other extreme events on our operations and customers. The aforementioned factors are detailed in the “Risk Factors” sections of our Form 10-K that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 22, 2016, which is available on the SEC’s website at sec.gov. Information included in this release is representative as of today only, and while NJR periodically reassesses material trends and uncertainties affecting NJR’s results of operations and financial condition in connection with its preparation of management’s discussion and analysis of results of operations and financial condition contained in its Quarterly and Annual Reports filed with the SEC, NJR does not, by including this statement, assume any obligation to review or revise any particular forward-looking statement referenced herein in light of future events. This news release includes the non-GAAP financial measures NFE (losses), financial margin and utility gross margin. A reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable financial measures calculated and reported in accordance with GAAP can be found below. As an indicator of NJR’s operating performance, these measures should not be considered an alternative to, or more meaningful than, net income or operating revenues as determined in accordance with GAAP. This information has been provided pursuant to the requirements of SEC Regulation G. NFE (losses) and financial margin exclude unrealized gains or losses on derivative instruments related to the company’s unregulated subsidiaries and certain realized gains and losses on derivative instruments related to natural gas that has been placed into storage at NJRES, net of applicable tax adjustments as described below. Volatility associated with the change in value of these financial instruments and physical commodity contracts is reported on the income statement in the current period. In order to manage its business, NJR views its results without the impacts of the unrealized gains and losses, and certain realized gains and losses, caused by changes in value of these financial instruments and physical commodity contracts prior to the completion of the planned transaction because it shows changes in value currently instead of when the planned transaction ultimately is settled. An annual estimated effective tax rate is calculated for NFE purposes and any necessary quarterly tax adjustment is applied to NJRCEV, as such adjustment is related to tax credits generated by NJRCEV. NJNG’s utility gross margin represents the results of revenues less natural gas costs, sales, expenses and other taxes and regulatory rider expenses, which are key components of NJR’s operations that move in relation to each other. Natural gas costs, sales, expenses and other taxes and regulatory rider expenses are passed through to customers and, therefore, have no effect on gross margin. Management uses these non-GAAP financial measures as supplemental measures to other GAAP results to provide a more complete understanding of NJR’s performance. Management believes these non-GAAP financial measures are more reflective of NJR’s business model, provide transparency to investors and enable period-to-period comparability of financial performance. A reconciliation of all non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable financial measures calculated and reported in accordance with GAAP, can be found below. For a full discussion of NJR’s non-GAAP financial measures, please see NJR’s 2016 Form 10-K, Item 7. New Jersey Resources (NYSE:NJR) is a Fortune 1000 company that, through its subsidiaries, provides safe and reliable natural gas and clean energy services, including transportation, distribution, asset management and home services. NJR is composed of five primary businesses: NJR and its more than 1,000 employees are committed to helping customers save energy and money by promoting conservation and encouraging efficiency through Conserve to Preserve® and initiatives such as The SAVEGREEN Project® and The Sunlight Advantage®. For more information about NJR: Download our free NJR investor relations app for iPad, iPhone and Android.
News Article | May 18, 2017
VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - May 18, 2017) - Solar Alliance Energy Inc. ('Solar Alliance') or (the 'Company') (TSX VENTURE: SAN) ( : SAENF) is pleased to provide further information regarding the Solar Origination Agreement (the "Agreement") with Crius Solar, LLC ("Crius Solar"), an affiliate of Crius Energy, LLC. Solar Alliance will be targeting eastern Massachusetts for sales team expansion under the Agreement and the Company expects to have a sales team in place this summer. Each new market will consist of a sales team that is capable of driving residential solar system sales representing approximately US$12,000,000 in top line revenue annually. The implementation period for a new sales team is expected to be approximately three months. The Company is also assessing potential acquisitions of local sales and marketing companies that will help achieve our targets. "The expansion plan being pursued with Crius Solar is in line with our current model of utilizing external installation partners instead of being vertically integrated," said Solar Alliance Chairman and CEO Jason Bak. "Solar Alliance's core competency is sales and marketing. Partnering with Crius Solar allows us to maintain our high margins and reduce overhead costs associated with the installation process. We believe this model allows for aggressive growth while maintaining fiscal responsibility. We are excited to expand into the Massachusetts market which is driven by high electricity costs, net metering and a renewable portfolio standard with a solar goal along with an accompanying SREC market." The Company is taking a responsible approach to expansion through this partnership with Crius Solar as it allows Solar Alliance to focus on sales and marketing and rely on Crius Solar for permitting and installation fulfillment. This low risk, low cost growth model fits perfectly with our corporate belief that growth in the solar industry must be done in a profitable manner without over-reliance on the public markets to fund expansion. Expansion into New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island will occur after the Massachusetts operation is up and running. The northeast U.S. expansion plan represents a new revenue stream that is accretive to Solar Alliance's current organic and acquisition model that includes the following key elements: Solar Alliance is actively recruiting sales leaders in Massachusetts. Interested solar professionals should contact the company at jobs[at]solaralliance.com. Solar Alliance is a sales, marketing and development company focused on residential, commercial and industrial solar installations. Since we were founded in 2003, we have developed wind and solar projects that provide enough electricity to power 150,000 homes. Solar Alliance is committed to an exceptional customer experience, effective marketing campaigns and superior lead generation in order to drive sales and generate value for shareholders. Our passion is improving life through ingenuity, simplicity and freedom of choice. We make solar simple and our goal is to install solar on every available rooftop in America. Statements in this news release, other than purely historical information, including statements relating to the Company's future plans and objectives or expected results, constitute Forward-looking statements. The words "would", "will", "expected" and "estimated" or other similar words and phrases are intended to identify forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company's actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different than those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Such factors include, but are not limited to: uncertainties related to the ability to raise sufficient capital, changes in economic conditions or financial markets, litigation, legislative or other judicial, regulatory and political competitive developments and technological or operational difficulties. Consequently, actual results may vary materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. "Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release."
News Article | April 14, 2016
Have you missed out on some of the latest renewable portfolio standard (RPS) updates? Don’t worry – we’ve got some of the major markets covered for you, and in one place. For more information on SREC pricing, visit http://www.solsystems.com/our-resources/srec-prices-and-knowledge. This is an excerpt from the April edition of SOURCE: the Sol Project Finance Journal, a monthly electronic newsletter analyzing the solar industry’s latest trends based on our unique position in the solar financing space. To view the full Journal or subscribe, please e-mail email@example.com. Sol Systems is a solar energy finance and investment firm. The company has facilitated financing for over 400MW of solar projects on behalf of Fortune 100 corporations, insurance companies, utilities, banks, family offices, and individuals. Sol Systems provides secure, sustainable investment opportunities to investor clients, and sophisticated project financing solutions to developers. The company’s tailored financial services range from tax structured investments, project acquisition and SREC portfolio management. Inc. Magazine named Sol Systems on its annual Inc. 500 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for a second consecutive year, ranking it No. 6 in the nation’s top solar companies in 2014. For more information, please visit www.solsystems.com.
News Article | October 20, 2016
Back in 2014, with the infamous, SB 310, Ohio became the first state to freeze its renewable portfolio standard (RPS) and halted requirements for renewable energy at 2014 levels. This means that until the end of 2016, rather than gradually increasing its renewable energy goals, the RPS has been stuck, requiring only 2.5% of energy to come from renewable sources, with a carve out of 0.12% for solar. Without legislative action, the freeze would lift on January 1. Some Ohio legislators are not so keen on a thaw, however, and are in search of another RPS ice age. SB 320, introduced in April, was one attempt at another RPS ice age. Introduced by Ohio state Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), SB 320 would have gutted net metering, extended the freeze (again) and diluted the standard by extending eligibility to non-renewable sources. When SB 320 failed to gain much traction, Senator Seitz’s drafted a substitute bill – but it’s not any better. In fact, the new bill would remove the “teeth” from the RPS – known as an Alternative Compliance Payment (ACP). The Ohio RPS would not only be frozen again, but it would be completely voluntary, and the SREC program would cease to exist. This also means that customers who made good faith investments in solar energy before the legislature’s tampering with existing law would have to pay for this politicking – literally. Other anti-RPS bills have also been circulated, such as Senator Kris Jordan’s SB 325, which would get rid of benchmarks all together, or Representative Ron Amstutz’s HB 554 proposal to extend the freeze until at least 2027. Ohio, is Another Freeze Really Necessary? With these bills on the table, you can’t help but ask if another freeze is really necessary. In comparison to other states with an RPS in place, Ohio’s goal of 12.5% by 2027 is already very modest. For example, Ohio’s neighbor, Pennsylvania, has a goal of 18%. Meanwhile, states across the country continue to increase their renewable energy targets, as they see the job creation that solar energy brings (208,859 jobs and counting nationwide, 139,399 more than coal!), and increasing interest from corporate buyers to do business in renewables-friendly states. Any more changes to Ohio’s RPS would only cause Ohio to lag further behind. On the campaign trail and since, Governor Kasich pledged to veto any freeze to the standards, but followed up by implying that the current standards were unachievable: “You can mandate anything you want,” he said, “but that doesn’t mean you can achieve it.” Are Ohio’s standards really so unrealistic? When the RPS was frozen in 2014, Ohio was already well on its way to meeting its goals. In fact, the 2014 compliance report from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio showed that both the renewable energy and solar compliance goals were exceeded. The market will continue in oversupply – especially because bordering states may sell their SRECs into Ohio – even with a thaw. With SB 310, the Ohio solar economy took a hit. Before the freeze, Ohio ranked #8 in terms of solar jobs, but has since fallen. The fall in job ranks was accompanied by a plummet in solar renewable energy credit (SREC) prices from the $65-$70 range to the low teens, affecting homeowners and businesses who had already made good faith investments in solar and were hoping to reap the SREC benefits to pay off their solar arrays. With falling SREC prices also came falling build rates, peaking at 48.3MW in 2012, and falling to only 10MW last year. Any legislation seeking to further a freeze or continue to weaken the RPS, would only further hurt the 89,000 Ohioans employed across the clean energy sector involved with manufacturing, installing, developing, constructing, and financing. The job creation from the Ohio RPS is proof that it’s good bang for the buck; compliance is likely a mere 0.5% of other measures recently approved to support the state’s failing nuclear and coal plants. Corporate buyers are also increasingly interested in large scale renewables. According to the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), in 2015 alone, corporations signed renewable Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) for 1GW of renewable power from Texas, 326MW from Oklahoma, and 391MW from North Carolina. Nationwide, the Business Renewables Center estimated that corporates conducted 3.24GW of renewable energy deals, and 80% of S&P 500 Companies are now publishing sustainability reports. Worldwide, over 80 of the largest companies have committed to up to 100% renewable energy usage, with U.S. names like Nike, Microsoft, and Walmart amongst them. Unfreezing the RPS and allowing the targets to resume would send a signal to the market that Ohio is open to renewable energy business. When Ohio’s legislature goes back into lame duck session in November, the House will have 5 days to review any bills attempting to extend the RPS winter. Make sure to reach out to your representatives and let them know that no action is the best action. Allowing the freeze to be lifted is the best option for Ohio’s economic and renewable future. Sol Systems, a national solar finance and development firm, delivers sophisticated, customized services for institutional, corporate, and municipal customers. Sol is employee-owned, and has been profitable since inception in 2008. Sol is backed by Sempra Energy, a $25+ billion energy company. Over the last eight years, Sol Systems has delivered more than 500 MW of solar projects for Fortune 100 companies, municipalities, universities, churches, and small businesses. Sol now manages over $650 million in solar energy assets for utilities, banks, and Fortune 500 companies. Inc. 5000 recognized Sol Systems in its annual list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for four consecutive years. For more information, please visit www.solsystems.com.
News Article | February 25, 2017
The Sol SOURCE is a monthly journal that our team distributes to our network of clients and solar stakeholders. Our newsletter contains energy statistics from current real-life renewables projects, trends, and observations gained through monthly interviews with our team, and it incorporates news from a variety of industry resources. Below, we have included excerpts from the February 2017 edition. To receive future Journals, please subscribe or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The following statistics represent some high-quality solar projects and portfolios that we are actively reviewing for investment. Have a solar project in need of financing? Our team can provide a pricing quote for you here. Maryland – It’s official. This month, the Maryland state legislature voted to override Governor Hogan’s veto to HB1106, the Clean Energy Jobs Act. With the override, the state’s renewable energy goal has increased to 25% by 2020 (up from 20% by 2022), and the solar carve-out increased from 2% by 2022 to 2.5% by 2020. While short-term SREC pricing did not increase, the override prevented a further dip in values. Its primary benefit will be a boost to 2019 and 2020 demand, which may result in higher pricing for those SREC vintages. Perhaps SREC prices will rise in coming years, but for now, $20/SREC is the new normal in Maryland, where SREC values have plummeted over the last year given rapid build, most notably of the residential sector. At press time, 493MW of behind-the-meter (<2MW) solar has been installed in Maryland, as compared to 171MW of projects over 2MW in size. More recently, two bills have been introduced to examine the oversupply in the SREC market: one that would expand the solar carve-out to 4% (HB1457) and another that would require a study to examine possible “bigger picture” changes to the RPS (HB1414). Meanwhile, energy storage is a hot topic at the state legislature this session, where several storage bills will soon be heard in committee. Proposed legislation could create an energy storage income tax credit (HB0490/SB0758) and an energy storage grant program (HB1395). Introduced legislation would also require the Maryland Clean Energy Center to study possible incentives and regulatory constructs to encourage energy storage (HB0773/SB0715). Massachusetts – After months of stakeholder engagement, the ever-patient, ever-diligent Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced the design of Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program, the next iteration of the state’s solar incentive regime. As a refresher, commercial projects in the nation’s #7 solar market have come to a halt [with few exceptions] since the SREC II program closed. With SMART, Massachusetts will transition away from an SREC program and toward a declining block incentive. SMART will also incentivize rooftop solar, canopy structures, and storage – and provide a lower incentive to greenfield development. Land use and siting requirements will be more stringent than in SREC I and SREC II. Transitioning from one program to the next takes time, and DOER acknowledged this at the January 31 “reveal”. In order to avoid further disruptions in renewable energy investments in the Commonwealth (Massachusetts actually lost solar jobs this last year, according the latest Solar Jobs Census), the DOER will extend SREC II to provide a “bridge” to SMART. In order to qualify for SREC II at a discounted incentive level, projects must reach mechanical completion by the start of the new program, which is now estimated to begin in January 2018 at the earliest. These details are subject to change; comments on the SREC II extension were due February 17. While SREC II has been extended, the net metering caps have not been lifted; legislation is required to lift the caps (again). The SMART program aims to circumvent this by providing developers with an “on-bill crediting” alternative to net metering. Notably, the Board of Public Utilities – not DOER – must lead this process and so there is a degree of uncertainty here. Details are still to be determined. The Massachusetts market is experiencing many changes. Sol Systems is following the market transition closely and would be happy to talk them through with you. Feel free to give us a call at (202) 349-2085. South Carolina – Solar incentive programs for non-residential projects up to 1MW AC in Duke Progress and Duke Carolinas territory have filled, and South Carolina Gas & Electric is soon to follow. While cumbersome fee in lieu of taxes (FILOT) negotiations have hindered economics for commercial and industrial solar projects in the Palmetto state, project economics could improve vastly if property tax abatement legislation is passed this year. The Renewable Energy Property Tax Act (S.44) passed its third and final reading in the Senate in early February and now sits with House Ways & Means. If passed, South Carolina would offer an 80% property tax abatement for non-residential systems, much like its neighbor to the North. Property tax abatement nearly passed last year, but failed after a last minute “poison pill.” Sol Systems, a national solar finance and development firm, delivers sophisticated, customized services for institutional, corporate, and municipal customers. Sol is employee-owned, and has been profitable since inception in 2008. Sol is backed by Sempra Energy, a $25+ billion energy company. Over the last eight years, Sol Systems has delivered more than 500MW of solar projects for Fortune 100 companies, municipalities, universities, churches, and small businesses. Sol now manages over $650 million in solar energy assets for utilities, banks, and Fortune 500 companies. Inc. 5000 recognized Sol Systems in its annual list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for four consecutive years. For more information, please visit www.solsystems.com.
News Article | October 29, 2016
Ce De Candy, Inc. (dba Smarties Candy Company), maker of the iconic Smarties candy, and Dynamic Energy Solutions, LLC, a turnkey solar project builder, have completed construction on a 674kW solar project on the roof of Smarties’ Union, NJ facility. The project will be supported by the New Jersey SREC solar incentive program. “This project will help Smarties to operate more sustainably. With over 2,100 solar panels on our roof, we expect to generate nearly half of our candy factory’s energy usage from the sun. New Jersey has been very supportive of solar, making the economics attractive, as well,” said Liz Dee, Executive Vice President of Smarties Candy Company, and granddaughter of founder Edward Dee, who founded the company in 1949. “We chose Dynamic to get these projects built because of their strong execution record and experience with companies like ours, particularly in the state of New Jersey.” “Dynamic Energy congratulates the Smarties team on the completion of this exciting solar project. We were thrilled to help Smarties advance their sustainable efforts and build a cleaner future for the State of New Jersey and us all,” said Mike Perillo, CEO of Dynamic. About Smarties Candy Company Smarties Candy Company is a family owned and operated New Jersey based candy company. Founded in 1949, by Edward Dee, the company now produces and sells over 2 billion candy rolls per year. Smarties are made 24 hours per day in two candy factories located in Union, New Jersey and Newmarket, Ontario. Smarties can be found nearly everywhere candy is sold. About Dynamic Energy Solutions, LLC Dynamic Energy, founded in 2007, is a turnkey energy solutions provider that develops, finances, engineers, constructs and operates projects for corporate, industrial and institutional customers. Dynamic builds energy projects that reduce customer expenses, improve operating efficiency, provide an attractive return on investment and achieve sustainability goals. For more information please visit http://www.dynamicenergyusa.com or call 1-877-809-8884.
News Article | February 14, 2017
If at First You Don’t Succeed… In May 2016, renewable energy advocates were surprised to see Governor Hogan veto the Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB 921/ HB 1106), which had passed the legislature with strong bipartisan support. The Clean Energy Jobs Act would have increased the states renewable portfolio standard and provided a modest increase to the solar carve-out. However, after the Governor’s veto, hope was not lost. After passing with a veto proof majority, legislators were confident that an override would occur in early 2017. After months of waiting, the state legislature was successful in overriding Governor Hogan’s veto last week, and the Clean Energy Jobs Act will now become law. The Maryland Senate overrode the Governor’s veto in a 32-13 vote, and the veto override passed with a 88-15 vote in the House of Delegates. What Does This Mean for Renewables? With the Clean Energy Jobs Act approved as law, Maryland’s renewable portfolio standard will now be raised to 25% by 2020. This means that by 2020, 25% of the state’s electricity needs will be met from clean energy sources like solar and wind. This is a bump from the previous standard of 20% by 2022. The solar carve-out will also increase slightly from 2% by 2022 to 2.5% by 2020. Such a modest increase in the solar carve-out may provide some initial relief to Maryland’s solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market, which plummeted in 2016 for a number of reasons, mainly higher than expected residential build, and to a lesser extent, the perception of the PJM interconnection queue. Before the passage of the override, Maryland SRECs were trading at $18, only slightly higher than Pennsylvania and Ohio, two markets that have experienced lackluster solar growth over the last several years. For reference, prices in Maryland were at $100/SREC only one year ago. According to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the Act will incentivize 1.3GW of new clean energy in Maryland and could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2.7 million metric tons per year. And, while the override will not bring SREC values to early 2016 levels, this victory is an important first step in providing some relief to the market which is home to over 5,400 in-state solar jobs. More importantly, it is yet another win for strong, local renewable portfolio standards. With this new act, Maryland joins other renewable policy success stories from 2016. Notably, we saw Ohio put an end to its RPS freeze, New York and Rhode Island aim for high renewable targets of 50% and 38.5% respectively, and Illinois sign into law a bill to make their RPS more effective. D.C., Oregon, and Michigan also increased their RPS standards in 2016. As other leadership states look to increase their renewable standards to 40% or even 50%, will Maryland lead or follow? Only time will tell. Sol Systems, a national solar finance and development firm, delivers sophisticated, customized services for institutional, corporate, and municipal customers. Sol is employee-owned, and has been profitable since inception in 2008. Sol is backed by Sempra Energy, a $25+ billion energy company. Over the last eight years, Sol Systems has delivered more than 500MW of solar projects for Fortune 100 companies, municipalities, universities, churches, and small businesses. Sol now manages over $650 million in solar energy assets for utilities, banks, and Fortune 500 companies. Inc. 5000 recognized Sol Systems in its annual list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for four consecutive years. For more information, please visit www.solsystems.com.
News Article | April 7, 2016
Shayle Kann and the GTM Research analyst team give GTM Squared members insight into off-the-cuff internal discussion and debate on breaking news from solar, grid, and energy storage markets in this column. Cory Honeyman Senior Analyst, Solar: Big news out of Massachusetts. The state legislature just approved a 3 percent increase to net energy metering (NEM) caps plus authorization of minimum bills. Up next, though, post-SREC II rules need to be established to unfreeze development for commercial and industrial (C&I) projects. Nicole Litvak Senior Analyst, Solar: You can read the full bill here. MJ Shiao Director, Solar Research: SREC II also affects residential as well, which doesn't get any relief from the NEM cap expansion. Currently there's a small allocation of capacity left for new residential systems to qualify for SRECs, and that could disappear over the next quarter or two. Shayle Kann Senior Vice President, Research: The NEM cap increase also decreases NEM compensation for commercial by ~40 percent. But there's 25-year grandfathering for existing systems. Take that, Nevada. Austin Perea Analyst, Solar: Hmmm... According to industry sources, NEM compensation is also going to decrease 40 percent for community solar as well. Looking through the bill now for the precise language. I suppose that's just for commercial subscribers to community solar projects? MJ Shiao Director, Solar Research: Actually, that leads to an interesting question: How do you enforce a lower compensation rate for virtual net energy metering (VNEM)? Does the utility now have to compare hourly production data from the site versus hourly consumption data? And if that's true for community solar, that seemingly has a big effect on economics for residential subscribers. Solar produces during the day, but residential load peaks late afternoon/evening. That misalignment means that the community solar project would seemingly be compensated at 40 percent less than retail for the residential subscribers' chunk. Tough to see economics penciling there. Or you increase acquisition costs, because now you need a larger subscriber list of smaller subscriptions. By the way, all of this seems like a big accounting nightmare for virtual NEM in general. Shayle Kann Senior Vice President, Research: VNEM projects don't net out from their customers. So basically 100 percent of output is considered an "export." That's why this is a big hit for VNEM but not so big for on-site (because it's 60 percent of retail on monthly net excess, not hourly). I assume community solar is the same way, though I don't know that for sure. Also, a little birdie told me that the bill retains full retail credit for on-site public projects, which is a pretty big carve-out. Cory Honeyman Senior Analyst, Solar: One other potential impact is that this legislation might encourage more customer-sited projects for C&I customers that are 100 percent self-consumption in order to max out on full retail rate NEM credits. And also, it's important to note that the new NEM rules take effect once the 1,600-megawatt target is hit, not when SREC II is complete. The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has been considering issuing emergency regulations to allow for additional projects above 1.6 gigawatts to qualify under SREC II if they commence construction by the end of 2016. So the final language in the bill sets a clear and limited ceiling on how much additional capacity can be grandfathered in under current NEM rules. Shayle Kann Senior Vice President, Research: Just one clarification -- on-site projects wouldn't have to be 100 percent self-consumption. They would just have to not have any monthly net export. So you'd just have to undersize the system a bit, but not necessarily mess around with load. Julia Pyper Senior Writer, Greentech Media: Question -- I thought Massachusetts NEM caps didn't apply to residential. So how does raising the cap help if compensation for C&I and community is lowered? MJ Shiao Director, Solar Research: NEM caps don't apply to residential but SREC II limits do; that's where residential fits in. The NEM caps have been hit for non-residential systems in Massachusetts so systems built beyond the 1,600 MW limit until the new cap is hit will be compensated at a 40% reduced rate, but it's still higher than wholesale pricing. Click here to learn more about the latest grid edge research from GTM Research. You can read bios for the analyst team here.
News Article | January 25, 2016
Last year, thanks to the removal of a tree in my front yard and the confluence of low-cost solar technology and generous state incentives, I put solar on my roof and generated 4 megawatt-hours in my first year as a solar power plant owner. Everything performed as advertised: the 5.5-kilowatt SunPower system quickly cut my electric bill to $0, then generated a negative balance for most of the summer and fall. December came with a small bill (~$18), but also brought the news from my SREC broker (Knollwood Energy) that SRECs in Massachusetts are trading at $270 per megawatt-hour, so I stood to gain another $1,000 from the system. The 2.99 percent loan I have with EnerBank has a payment of around $189 per month, so if you combine the electric-bill savings with the income from the SRECs, I’m cash flow positive in year 1. But, as we’ve covered extensively over the past few weeks here, regulators in Nevada made the unprecedented and alarming decision not only to reform their net-metering program -- reducing compensation for exported power coupled with increases in monthly fixed charges -- but also to apply the reforms to all existing solar customers in a phased approach over four years. If regulators in Massachusetts made that same decision today, how would my investment in solar fare over the next 20 years? It’s worth taking a step back before digging into numbers, because it’s not clear to me how often people think of going solar as a purely economic undertaking. Solar, unlike other home repairs or remodels, feels different, wrapped as it should be in broader impulses to address climate change, energy independence, and overall energy resilience. In that context, the conversation with a solar installer tends toward one that for me felt more trusting (they sell solar, so they must be on my side). With that sense of trust, and the admittedly unfair access to a group of industry-leading market and technology solar analysts here at GTM Research, I went about selecting a solar system with confidence that I would make the right choice, from financing to vendor and installer selection. I honestly never considered that the assumptions around the incentives I would receive might change. I enlisted the help of EnergySage, a startup near our office in Boston that provides a platform to compare multiple bids from solar installers and attempt to normalize the assumptions behind those bids so I could make the most informed decision. Over the course of spring 2015, I uploaded all my power bills to the EnergySage platform, filled out all the other information required to receive bids, and within two weeks had about a half dozen. I had already chosen not to lease (I still don’t quite understand why anyone does) so my bids all included the option to pay outright or take out a loan to finance the installation. Throughout the process of reviewing bids, there were many elements of each proposal I needed help understanding (SREC price variability, power production and electric rate increase assumptions, and just what the difference between a DC optimizer and microinverter is), but I certainly understood how the ITC, a state rebate and tax credit, and net metering worked. I knew SREC prices were variable over 10 years, but also that Massachusetts had designed its system well enough to manage that within an acceptable window. If, in this thought experiment, the Nevada PUC picked up, came to Massachusetts and passed its solar tariff structure here today, what would happen to my electricity bill? For my system (a SunPower/SolarEdge system purchased in May 2015 at a net cost of around $21,000, which includes the ITC tax benefit and a Massachusetts state rebate), the original benefits of going solar looked like this: With the Nevada plan, my experience would look like this: Jumping out to year 5 -- let’s assume my system produces 6,295 kilowatt-hours of solar energy annually and half of it is exported back to the grid and compensated at wholesale rates. Instead of saving $1,346 on the electricity bills as planned, I would save $863 ($674 from load reduction plus $189 for my exported power). Add in annual SREC income of $1,200, and I would have a gross benefit of $2,063. Subtract my annual cost of the solar loan ($2,156) and the new fixed charges ($300) and I have a negative cash flow. Continue to draw the model out, and I have negative cash flow every year until year 13. If you look at this through the lens of payback on my investment, I don’t reach that until year 19. This is arguably too generous because 1) we have SRECs in Mass, 2) we have higher wholesale rates, and 3) I kept the fixed charges at $300 per year, whereas in Nevada they increase well beyond that over time. To summarize: my system today is cash flow positive in year 1, and the payback occurs in year 3 if SREC prices remain over $200 per megawatt-hour. If the Nevada PUC came to town, I would have to wait 20 years to break even. I would be 70 years old! Forget it; by then, I’ve moved. As a homeowner, I took on risk when signing a mortgage for my house at its particular price and interest rate, exposing myself to market fluctuations, tax increases, unforeseen repairs and more. Those were all fairly well-understood risks with precedents and experience. With my solar system, however, I took risks I understood (SREC variability) as well as those I didn’t (retail rate escalation, service obligations) and placed my trust in the ecosystem of suppliers, installers, the utility and its regulators. This trust is critical for any market to mature, for people on the sidelines to step in and continue to fuel its growth. In the case of Nevada, that trust has clearly been broken. If other states regard Nevada’s moves as precedent, this becomes much more than a thought experiment for me, but a chilling signal to anyone owning or considering owning rooftop solar. The U.S. residential solar market, which has been celebrating the extension of the ITC, would find itself unfairly hobbled just at the time of its most impressive growth.