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.

How to Apply

Applications should be submitted to CLEAResult via Powercheck here. Select the link for the corresponding Electric Distribution Company to create an account and submit the application. CLEAResult will then review the application, and correspond with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) on the approval of the application. DOER will issue the Preliminary Statement of Qualification, which will include the Capacity Block and Base Compensation rates. This is the beginning of the 12-month Initial Reservation Period. After the Solar Tariff Generation Unit becomes operational, applicants must submit another application for their Claim and their final Statement of Qualification to CLEAResult before DOER will issue the Final Statement of Qualification.

SMART Program Incentives

The SMART program provides incentives for 1,600 MW (AC) of generating capacity to be allocated in declining “blocks.”  (Some incentives are limited to generation units 25 kW (AC) and smaller; however, the summary contained herein is applicable to systems larger than 25 kW (AC).) 

Base Compensation Rates are based on a facility’s electric distribution company and Capacity Block. There are three means through which projects may elect to receive compensation for energy: (1) net metering; (2) qualifying facility tariff; (3) alternative on-bill crediting mechanism, via a SMART Tariff. The third option is not available to facilities with on-site load. For Standalone Facilities, the incentive payment is equal to the all-in compensation rate minus the value of the energy, which varies over the life of the project. For all other facilities, the incentive payment is determined at the time a project is interconnected and the incentive payment is fixed for the duration of the tariff term. For projects larger than 25 kW, these incentives are available for a period of 20 years from commercial operation. For projects less than or equal to 25 kW, incentives are available for 10 years. There is a maximum project size of 5 MW AC per parcel.

Depending on the type of property on which the project is built, the project may be eligible for additional incentives. See below for the four kinds of Adders, and their relative rates:

 

 

 

This Matrix Reflects value for Energy Storage Systems that are part of the first adder tranche based on size and duration. The values herein are determined with the following formula:

The Energy Storage Adder is available for both standalone and behind-the-meter systems. The nominal rated power capacity must be at least 25%, and no more than 100%, of the rated capacity. The nominal useful energy capacity must be at least 2 hours, but will not be incentivized for more than 6 hours. There must be at least 65% round trip efficiency in normal operation, and the project owner must provide 15-minute interval performance data for the first year of operation. The Energy Storage System must discharge at least 52 complete cycle equivalents per year, and must remain functional in order to be eligible.