The SMART program, for which the 6/5/17-emailed rulemaking announcement is provided below, will provide solar PV incentives to follow the Solar Carve-Out & Solar Carve-Out II (SREC & SREC II) programs. When DOER completes its rulemaking this summer, the electric distribution companies (utilities) will file tariffs with the DPU. The DPU will then begin proceeding(s), expected to start this fall and continue into 2018. Upon DPU approval of the tariffs filed by the electric distribution companies, the SMART program will go into effect. At that point, new PV facilities will no longer be eligible to qualify for the SREC II program. Instead, they will qualify as RPS Class I qualified Generation Units earning Class I RECs, not SREC IIs. Those RECs will be owned by the electric distribution companies, while the PV facility owners under SMART will receive financial incentives, as specified by the SMART program, directly from the electric distribution companies.
Meantime, however, both of the SREC and SREC II Minimum Standards will continue to exist until at least 2023 and 2027, respectively. Each existing SREC or SREC II qualified PV facility will continue earning SRECs or SREC IIs until the end of its individually-specified life span, when that facility will default to producing RPS Class I RECs.
Dear Massachusetts Solar Stakeholders,
Earlier today, DOER filed an emergency regulation with the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office to implement the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program. This regulation is promulgated pursuant to Chapter 75 of the Acts of 2016, which requires DOER to establish a new solar incentive program. The regulation is designed to support the continued development of an additional 1,600 MW of solar renewable energy generating sources via a declining block compensation mechanism, and is the product of an extensive stakeholder process that began last spring and involved over 40 public meetings and two written public comment periods.
While the emergency regulation takes effect immediately, it can only remain in effect for three months pending a full rulemaking proceeding conducted by DOER, at which time final rules will be promulgated. Additionally, the full implementation of the SMART Program will also require approval from the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) of tariffs filed by the Electric Distribution Companies. As such, the SMART program will not be in effect until this occurs, and no DPU proceeding can commence prior to the conclusion of DOER’s rulemaking process. In the interim, the SREC II Program remains in effect for all eligible solar facilities. More information on the SMART Program and the current status of the stakeholder process, including a copy of the emergency regulation and accompanying guidelines, can be found on DOER’s website.
DOER will provide a separate announcement regarding the next steps in the rulemaking process in the coming weeks, including information on any public hearing(s) and deadlines for submitting written comments on the emergency regulation and accompanying guidelines. DOER requests that you please direct any questions on the rulemaking process to DOER.SREC@state.ma.us.