This is your SolarWakeup for November 15th, 2017

We’ve Got You Covered On SMART. If you were to look around other publications you would be hard pressed to find information about the SMART program release in Massachusetts even though it’s the most important topic in the State in years. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered with information that you need to figure out your bidding strategy. Not to shorten it to a few words, you have a 40 minute information filled interview with the person in charge of the program. This platform isn’t about covering news, instead looking to give you exactly the facts you need to run your business.

The Point of Live! Events. It’s been two weeks since SolarWakeup Live! in Boston. The people that attended that event already knew what you are only reading today. They also know more information about NEM caps than you. My reason for creating the events and asking for your trust in the content is to change the way you have experienced conferences. Right now, you go to conferences for networking, not content. You go for several days and spend thousands on a badge. While I look forward to having people travel to SolarWakeup Live! events, I trust that you believe in the content you’ve been reading for 5 years on this site. Live! DC is coming up in a few weeks and there are still tickets available. If you live on the East Coast you should either be at Live! DC or waving signs in front of the USTR hearing on December 6th.

When, Not If. This is a unanimous assumption in the solar industry, storage is coming. It may not pencil everywhere today, neither does solar but it will grow like a hockey stick similar to the solar growth from 2007 to today. It may actually happen faster than solar since the solar penetration aids in the market growth. In the near future, I will share with you my upcoming venture which involves energy storage with a value proposition aimed at the solar industry.

Terminate That Language. Schwarzenegger is right, stop talking about climate change especially to people outside of your echo chamber. Clean air, clean water and solar energy. All of these things poll at over 70%. Monopoly utilities poll at well below 50% so play the spread between those two issues and you will win people over. Great coverage from Amy Harder at Axios from COP23 in Bonn.

Micro And MacroGrids. This may be the 2017 buzzword of the year, microgrids. Really what we are talking about is power generation and power controls inside a disconnect switch. If the grid shuts off, the home/building/network can continue to function within the designated panel loads. The trick comes with multiple power generation sources on the inside of the disconnect switch. When you look at it this way, I’ve come to learn that there are less suppliers able to participate than you would expect. Backup power may be a better way to sell this, it also allows a homeowner to buy emotionally as opposed to asking for payback numbers.

Who Is Terence Stewart? Making the case for 201 tariffs is always tricky, you have to lie to yourself and the people you are speaking to. I don’t know who this lawyer is that got to write for the WSJ on behalf of the 201 petitioners, but he did a poor job. It took GTM’s Shayle Kann more than 140 characters but less than 280 to destroy the case he was making.

Presented By True Green CapitalOur current partnership, Fund III, is actively seeking investment opportunities and channel partners to deploy capital in a scalable focused on DG and small utility scale projects.  Fund III has ~$350million in equity commitments to build out a ~$1billion solar portfolio.

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Have a great day!
Yann


E025: SMART Program In Massachusetts and How Regulators View 201 Petition Risk with Mike Judge

On the 14th of November, DOER released the RFP for the initial block of the much anticipated SMART program. The timing of the release was cause of many questions considering the shadows of the 201 petition which could affect the price of solar in Massachusetts. SolarWakeup covered many of these questions with Mike Judge, Director of Renewable Energy at DOER, during last month’s SolarWakeup Live! in Boston. Full Transcript Below. (While we attempt to make it verbatim, it may miss a few words) Make sure to rate and review the podcast! Make sure to check out SolarWakeup Live! in D.C. on … Read More


MA DOER Releases 100MW RFP, Starting SMART, But Results Could Be Changed

  • MA DOER has released the initial block procurement with a 100MW RFP ahead of the resolution of the 201 petition case which could increase the cost of solar modules significantly
  • The MA distribution companies, that make up the SMART program, have selected CLEAResult as the administrator and the initial bidder conference will occur on November 17th, 2017
  • DOER has issued the final regulations and submitted them to the DPU to enact the tariff rules. DOER has requested the tariff to be created by June 1st, 2018 but the process is ongoing
  • The regulations from DOER and the RFP are meant to be final, however if the 201 case severely impacts the results of the program, DOER reserves the ability to make changes
  • Developers are looking at their own situation for bidding strategy. Some bidders are considering submitting projects meant for SREC II as NEM cap increases seem unlikely and other bidders have modules reserved without 201 impact
On the 14th of November, DOER released the RFP for the initial block of the much anticipated SMART program. The timing of the release was cause of many questions considering the shadows of the 201 petition which could affect the price of solar in Massachusetts. SolarWakeup covered many of these questions with Mike Judge, Director of Renewable Energy at DOER, during last month’s SolarWakeup Live! in Boston. The initial 100MW RFP is managed by the newly selected administrator, CLEAResult, and will set the clearing price for the initial set of solar projects. All blocks after the RFP will be benchmarked against this RFP making the pricing important for the entire program. As the 201 case is not fully resolved, bidders will have to predict its outcome or ignore it completely. Some developers commented to SolarWakeup that modules have already been procured which are not impacted by the outcome of the trade case. In the scenario that the case increases the cost of solar panels, future blocks of the program could result in underpriced tariffs for the solar generation as capital costs of installation increase. Mike Judge commented about this scenario to SolarWakeup, “We [DOER] do have the ability to make changes to the program if necessary. So if something really drastic happened, it's our reg, we can open that reg,” Mike continued, “we don't open regulations without careful consideration but we can take appropriate action if necessary.” DOER is hopeful that bidders understand the various outcomes of the 201 case and looks at changes to the regulations as an option of last resort. This doesn’t minimize the impact to the RFP results. Bidders with SREC II projects, some operating, could decide to bid those projects into SMART prior to electing SREC II compliance if they view the NEM cap increase as unlikely. Make sure to check out SolarWakeup Live! in D.C. on 12/6 and NYC late January. Make sure to subscribe to EnergyWakeup on your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher radio. Please subscribe and share with your friends how much EnergyWakeup is helping you. You can hear the full podcast here with transcript

MA DOER has released the initial block procurement with a 100MW RFP ahead of the resolution of the 201 petition case which could increase the cost of solar modules significantly The MA distribution companies, that make up the SMART program, have selected CLEAResult as the administrator and the initial bidder conference will occur on November 17th, 2017 DOER has issued the final regulations and submitted them to the DPU to enact the tariff rules. DOER has requested the tariff to be created by June 1st, 2018 but the process is ongoing The regulations from DOER and the RFP are meant … Read More


This is your SolarWakeup for November 14th, 2017

Great Response. There are days I wonder if you are listening to anything I write but then there are days like yesterday. Over 1,000 of you went to the USTR site to make your comments heard. Plus I am sure many of you asked your colleague to do the same. Keep up the pressure and ask your partner companies to do the same. Use an engineer, a lawyer, an accountant that depends on your business to be successful? Send them the link today!

National Security. Jobs, consumer cost, and now national security – all worthy editorial content on why the 201 petition is bad for America. The military has been ahead of the game when it comes to renewable energy for far longer than the rest of the government. These op-eds are crucial to show the diverse and unanimous opposition to companies that look to destroy an industry for their own good.

No Sympathy To SolarWorld. This is the third time in the US that SolarWorld looks to step on hundred of thousand jobs for the enrichment of its investors and executives. During the second anti-dumping case, I publicly called for solar people to stop supporting SolarWorld by no longer buying their products. Unless there are consequences outside of this process, like no sales, SolarWorld will continue to find bailouts wherever possible. This includes all partners. Taking money to help advance the SolarWorld goals, means you are taking sides. Lawyers, accountants, marketers – run away and find business from the solar industry away from SolarWorld. That is the only way to stop this behavior that hurts us all. This may be an unpopular opinion but I doubt I am the only thinking it.

Pennsylvania SRECs. In-State SRECs only for Pennsylvania compliance. Let’s see how the market grows from here going forward, looking for 5 year strips to drive some growth in the market.

SMART Goes Live. You heard it hear yesterday and the interview with Mike Judge will get published tomorrow. SMART RFP has been released and bidding will start soon. Be wise with your strategy and how it overlaps with the 201 case.

Kerry Plots Legacy. It sounds like John Kerry is pushing emerging economies to look at other sources of energy besides coal, namely renewable energy. He was a rockstar at the Paris COP and pushing this agenda abroad is fantastic.

Bonn Bonn. The global community is not surprised by the lack of US involvement at the COP23 hearing. I continue to be amazed and surprised by the leadership from Governors like Jerry Brown and leaders like Mike Bloomberg (Go Hopkins!). We need more Cities and State level politicians to push for 100% renewable energy policies and local leadership on solar policies. As an industry, focus on changing the rules at your City Hall, it is a much easier and immediate path to market development.

Presented By NTCICNational Trust Solar is a subsidiary of the National Trust for Community Investment Corporation.  We enable historic, new market and solar tax credit investments in support of communities nationwide.  Since our beginning in 2000, we have raised more than $1 billion in tax credits.  We are recruiting new sponsors and hiring for our dynamic team.

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Have a great day!
Yann