NYSERDA Unveils $350/kWh Retail Energy Storage Incentive in Implementation Plan and Program Manual

On March 11, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”) filed its proposed Implementation Plan to administer its Energy Storage Market Acceleration Bridge Incentive Program and support the ambitious New York Public Service Commission (“PSC”) order requiring 1.5 GW of energy storage in New York by 2025 and 3 GW by 2030 (the “Storage Order”). The Implementation Plan breaks down the state’s incentive strategy primarily between “Retail Storage Incentives” and “Bulk Storage Incentives,” and provides essential preliminary details for sponsors, investors, and lenders considering energy storage projects in the state. Both programs will officially launch in Q2 2019. This article summarizes the program framework generally but focuses on the key attributes of the Retail Storage Incentives program (the “Retail Program”) and associated NYSERDA Retail Energy Storage Incentive Program Manual (the “Program Manual”). A subsequent article will address the Implementation Plan’s Bulk Storage Incentives and associated program manual.

Retail Program Funding and Scope

The Storage Order authorized a $310 million investment in energy storage deployment to be administered by NYSERDA, in addition to $40 million previously made available solely to energy storage paired with solar projects. The Implementation Plan preliminarily allocates $130 million to Retail Storage Incentives and $150 million to Bulk Storage Incentives. The Implementation Plan notes that an additional $53 million in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”) funds will later be made available for retail and bulk storage projects specifically located on Long Island.

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Commercial & Industrial Solar Due Diligence Review Manual for Tax Equity Transactions

U.S. Department of Commerce Sets Stage for New Countervailing Duties on Chinese Solar Panels

In addition to our work on a large variety of energy project financings, the Foley Energy Team has financed hundreds of C&I solar projects and together our team has experience with mostly all forms of C&I project documents in the market.  In an industry that boasts over 60 different forms of PPA, some much better than others, knowing how to make your project documents financeable is of paramount importance.  We know that all companies face challenges with internal legal and compliance training and decided that sharing a Manual that can be used as an ongoing reference tool would be far more useful to our clients than a one-hour seminar.  We are therefore sharing this Commercial & Industrial Solar Due Diligence Review Manual for Tax Equity Transactions with you to help your legal and business teams ensure that you do not have to make costly and frustrating amendments when it comes time to finance your projects.

This Manual highlights what financing parties look for when they undertake due diligence, explains what provisions to include in project documentation and why such provisions are important.  It contains guidelines to keep in mind while reviewing or negotiating a set of C&I solar project documents, followed in each section by a “checklist” of items to confirm you have evaluated the key aspects of the applicable document.  We have included a sample “Due Diligence Summary” that we provide to financing party clients for each C&I solar project – it’s a handy reference tool that contains the most basic document terms and a section on highlighted issues (Financing Party Notes).  If developers provided something like this to financing parties upfront, together with a well-organized dataroom, then diligence costs would most definitely go down.

Most of us who work in the solar market landed here not just because we enjoy projects, but also because we believe that solar is the future.  The better the project documents, the smoother the financing, and the more projects get done – and then suddenly, the future is brighter.

Click here to download the full manual.

House Passes Bill to Boost Tribal Renewable Energy

Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved S. 245, the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2017 (the Bill), which is designed to allow Native American tribes to take greater control over energy development on their lands and to reduce the amount of governmental red tape.

The Bill, which was passed by the Senate in November 2017, directs the Department of Interior to provide tribes with technical assistance in planning their energy resource development programs. Further, the Bill expands the Department of Energy’s Indian energy education planning and management assistance program to make intertribal organizations eligible for grants and to allow grants to be used to increase the capacity of tribes to manage energy development and energy efficiency programs.

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Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program Application Opens

U.S. Department of Commerce Sets Stage for New Countervailing Duties on Chinese Solar Panels

On November 26, 2018 at 12:00 PM ET, the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program begins accepting applications. The initial SMART application period ends at 11:59 PM ET on Friday, November 30, 2018. During this initial 5 business day period, all applications received will be treated has having been submitted at the same time for the purposes of placing the projects in a Capacity Block. For projects generating 25 kW AC or less, the projects will be placed in the order that the contract was executed. Projects generating more than 25 kW AC will be placed in Capacity Blocks in the order that their Interconnection Services Agreement was executed. All applications received on or after 12:00 AM ET December 1, 2018, will be reviewed and placed into Capacity Blocks on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Nevada Voters Approve 50% Renewable Portfolio Standard by 2030

Last week, Nevada voters approved a ballot measure, Question 6, which would increase the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 50% by 2030. The proposal embodied by Question 6 would be an amendment to Nevada’s Constitution.

Under current Nevada law, utilities are required to obtain 20% of their electricity from renewable energy sources, which will escalate to 25% by 2025. As such, the effect of Question 6, should it go into law, would be to effectively double the state’s RPS.

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