Posted: Wednesday, 11/15/17 @ 3pm EST
Let’s Get Smart about SMART
We mentioned that SRECs are ending soon in previous blog posts and we weren’t kidding! The current SREC II program has an anticipated end date of March 31st, 2018; however, provisions to extend SRECII have been made in case SMART (Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target) is not implemented by that date. For systems that are interconnected after March 31st and until the SMART program is implemented, SREC II will still be available; however, you will see it at a reduced rate for systems above 25kW. If you currently have solar and are part of the SREC II Program, you will see no changes.
To put it simply, SMART incentives will be about 35%-50% of SRECs. Let’s take our average customer with a system sized at 9kW producing 10,000 kWh/annually. As of right now, they are receiving about $17,000 in SRECs. With SMART, they can expect to receive about $6,000 less than that. That's a big drop! In addition, customers of municipal electric utilities are not eligible for SMART incentives at this point.
How Does SMART Work?
The incentive levels for SMART will be set through an auction process. Bidders will submit proposals for large solar projects at specific incentive levels. The lowest bids will win. The results will be announced by January 11th and will set the benchmark price of the whole program. For example, if the winning bid is set for $0.15/kWh, residential properties will receive a total incentive rate 2x the set price ($0.30/kWh) and lower income will see a rate 2.3x the set price ($0.35/kWh).
This does not mean you'll be paid $0.30/kWh. There is a bit more math involved to figure out the money! Under this example, the SMART pay out would be $0.30/kWh minus your volumetric distribution + transmission + transition charges and the 3 year average basic service fixed charges on your electric bill. Currently, that runs about $0.19/kWh in Eversource territory. In this example, the SMART incentive would be $0.30/kWh - $0.19/kWh = $0.11/kWh for 10 years. For that 9kW size system producing 10,000 kWh annually, the customer would receive $11,000 over 10 years.
The program details are not final; however, the numbers are unlikely to change. To make matters even more time sensitive, the President has until early January to make his ruling on whether a hefty tariff will be added to imported panels. If you missed it, check out our blog on the Section 201 Trade Case.
If you haven’t gone solar, now is the time as you will still be eligible for the SREC II Program. Speak with one of our experienced solar consultants to get a FREE quote before SRECs end!