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News Article | October 29, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

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 | March 3, 2016
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

Last year, New Jersey, in an attempt to improve the resiliency of their electricity infrastructure as well as for load shifting and frequency regulation, sought to incentivize behind the meter energy storage. The initial program, The Renewable Electric Storage Incentive, was aimed primarily at solar + storage installments and allotted $3 million to 13 separate projects throughout the state. The program appeared successful, but because of some misunderstandings with PJM about the ability to combine PJM grid incentives with the New Jersey energy storage incentive, 9 of the 13 approved projects have pulled out. The good news with this, however, is that the unused funds will be recycled back into the program for future use. Starting on March 1st,New Jersey will offer its second machination of its energy storage incentive and begin accepting applications. Round 2 has doubled the size of the program to $6 million and will distribute the funds in two separate allocations.  The first $3 million will be offered in an open enrollment format, and the 2nd will come later in 2016 in a competitive solicitation dictated by research currently being conducted by the Rutgers Laboratory for Energy Smart Systems (LESS). To be eligible, projects must be connected to a class 1 renewable resource and have a minimum capacity of 50kW, which can be aggregated over multiple sites. The incentive is set at $300 per kWh of energy capacity, with a per-project ceiling of $300,000 or 30% of the total project cost. A single owner or developer can qualify for multiple projects up to a per-entity incentive cap of $500,000. For full list of requirements or to apply click here. What Does This Mean for Solar Developers? Driven by the combination of incentives like the New Jersey rebate program and improving system economics, the distributed storage market is growing and creating real opportunities for developers. The upcoming open enrollment for New Jersey presents a particularly attractive opportunity. Todd Olinsky-Paul of the Clean Energy group writes: An open enrollment rebate is much more reliable, and bankable, than a competitive solicitation, which may or may not result in a grant; this also happens to be the first dedicated energy storage rebate program in the country, which means the results should be of great interest to energy agencies in other states. To address this growing opportunity, Sol Systems is developing a solution to offer storage that can be paired with solar installations. For more information, contact Ben Margolis at ben.margolis@solsystemscompany.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 | February 14, 2017
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

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 | February 25, 2017
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

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 pr@solsystems.com. 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 | April 14, 2016
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

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 pr@solsystems.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
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

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 | December 16, 2016
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

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 December 2016 edition. To receive future Journals, please subscribe or email pr@solsystems.com. 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. Illinois – On December 8, Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Future Energy Jobs Bill, sweeping energy legislation that will support all sectors of the solar energy market: distributed generation, community solar, brownfields, and utility-scale solar. The legislation also creates a stable funding stream to pay for multi-year renewable energy credit (REC) contracts to help Illinois meet its 25% by 2025 renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The funding certainty is a key provision, as the instability in the state budget had previously stunted the growth of the solar market. The funding will now be held in the Renewable Energy Resources Fund (RERF). Solar was a big winner in this legislation, as was nuclear. As part of the legislation, struggling nuclear plants will be subsidized using zero emission credits (ZECs), similar to the mechanism used in New York’s 50% Clean Energy Standard. Are we seeing a new trend in state-level energy policy? New Jersey – S-2276, legislation to “pull forward” the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 4.1% by 2021 is on hold until after the New Year. If passed by the General Assembly and ultimately signed by Governor Chris Christie early next year, near-term demand for solar would be increased. Given the oversupply of solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) in the market, however, longer-term follow-on legislation would be needed in the coming years to provide true market stability. New Jersey’s gubernatorial election will take place in 2017. Already, the price difference between vintage 2017 and vintage 2021 is clear evidence that traders see little long-term value in the NJ SREC market under the existing RPS target. Vintage 2017 recently traded for $235 while 2021 is fetching a mere $80 by comparison. Given its SREC trading business, Sol Systems is still actively financing rooftop and carport projects in New Jersey, and also sees the Garden State as an ideal market for merchant assets. We are specifically interested in late stage Sub-Section Q, S & T projects. Ohio – While states across the country are considering legislation to increase their respective renewable portfolio standards, the Ohio state legislature narrowly passed another “freeze” to the state’s modest 12.5% RPS earlier this month. Theatrics ensued in Columbus over the last several weeks of hearings, including one state senator claiming that “kale mandates” were sure to come next if the RPS was allowed to resume (he clearly had not seen this Sunrun commercial). The Senate passed the freeze bill 18-13, and the House vote was 56-41, with many Republican legislators voting against the freeze. This bi-partisan support for renewable energy is critical, as freeze proponents were unable to gather enough votes for a possible veto override. Businesses interested in signing a letter asking for Governor Kasich to veto another freeze to the RPS can email policy@solsystems.com. If a veto occurs, the RPS, which was put on pause in 2015 and 2016, will resume on January 1. 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 | April 7, 2016
Site: www.greentechmedia.com

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
Site: www.greentechmedia.com

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.


News Article | April 18, 2016
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

It is not always easy being a local or regional solar developer going head-to-head with a national giant to win business. In requests for proposals and otherwise, national, sometimes publicly traded companies often beat out localized partners due to a much lower cost of capital. In addition, regional developers – sometimes with a team of 10 people or fewer – may not have the balance sheet to fund expensive upfront costs in a deal, such as an interconnection study, geotech, or a PPA deposit. Still, many potential host customers prefer to “buy local,” giving regional developers the upper hand over the competition. Moreover, the solar landscape is shifting. Trouble with some of the biggest national players provides new opportunity for local and regional developers to increase deal flow. But how do you get that solar project to the finish line? Enter Sol’s new development capital product. In addition to ultimately financing the solar project, Sol Systems will provide funding for documented third party expenses (e.g. interconnection studies, PPA deposits, and similarly cost intensive development items). As always with Sol Systems, we prefer to partner with developers that will foster long-term relationships rather than one-off transactions. Give us a call today to get your leg up on the competition, or send an e-mail to William.Graves@solsystems.com. We look forward to hearing from you. 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 pr@solsystems.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.

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