Solar for Business

Delaware’s Public Service Commission Approves 2014 Solar REC Incentive Program

For the third year in a row, the Delaware Public Service Commission has approved Delmarva Power’s 2014 SREC incentive program that allows Delaware businesses to “go solar” on highly attractive terms.  Businesses can opt to purchase and own solar systems directly, or can simply decide to purchase the solar electricity at a discount to current electricity rates (with no capital outlay).

The 2014 program is substantially similar to the 2013 SREC program: there will be 3 separate system size tiers for all new solar projects, all of the 20-year SREC contracts will be determined by competitive bid price used for the initial 7 years, with SREC prices for years 8-20 being pre-determined (although the 2014 program will use a price of $35 as opposed to the $50 price used in 2013).

The table below summarizes the 2014 Delaware SREC Program Tiers for new solar systems:

The 2014 Solicitation bid window will open up on May 5th, and will remain open for 15 business days until the bid window closes on May 23rd.

EnterSolar has been helped clients go solar under both the 2012 and 2013 Delaware SREC program, and is currently seeking corporate partners interested in exploring the 2014 program.  To learn more about how your business can benefit from the Delaware SREC Program, please contact us.

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    Connecticut Prepares to Launch Year 3 of the Solar ZREC Market

    Connecticut Light & Power (“CL&P”) and United Illuminating (“UI”) are expected to formally launch the 2014 Zero-Emission Renewable Energy Credit (“ZREC”) solar incentive program over the next several weeks.  This will mark the third year the Connecticut has offered the well-received ZREC solar program (2013 program, 2012 program), and since the ZREC program began in 2012, it has provided crucial state-level incentives for over 800 individual solar projects throughout the state.

    The ZREC program is structured as a “reverse-auction” bid process, which ensures that Connecticut rate-payers receive the greatest bang-for-their-buck since all solar projects must compete against each other for the limited annual funding.  In addition, the fixed state-wide ZREC budget ensures that the solar industry is rewarded for continuing to drive down the cost of solar installations (i.e. the lower the average awarded ZREC prices, the more solar that gets installed in the state).

    By way of background, A “ZREC” represents the environmental attributes derived from each megawatt-hour (“MWh”) of electricity produced by a zero-emission form of generation such as solar photovoltaics (for more background info, please see prior blog).  The ZREC Program provides solar system owners with a 15-year contractual revenue source which pays them a fixed price for every kilowatt-hour (“kWh”) of solar electricity generated, in addition to the savings on their electric bill.  The ZREC cash payments and the monthly electricity bill savings are further compounded by substantial Federal solar incentives that can dramatically lower the upfront cost of commercial solar projects.

    For Connecticut businesses interested in exploring the financial feasibility of “going solar”, the ZREC solar incentives can provide a critical cash flow supplement to a solar project’s economic profile.  Whether a business is interested in owning a solar system, or leasing one, or entering into a third-party Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) arrangement whereby the business has no capital outlay at all (but saves money immediately), the ZREC incentive is the key economic driver.

    In addition, Connecticut recently introduced two new solar innovations: (1) the highly attractive C-PACE financing program which allows property owners to finance solar projects on extremely favorable terms through an additional assessment on their property tax bill; and (2) the Connecticut Solar Leasing Program which provides CT businesses with compelling leasing and PPA alternatives

    Please contact the EnterSolar team to learn more about how your business can take advantage of all of these highly attractive CT solar incentives.

     

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      NY-Sun Initiative Powers More Solar for NY Businesses

      Last week, Governor Cuomo announced an additional $28.6 million of awards under the NY-Sun initiative, which will facilitate the deployment of another 33.6 MW of distributed solar capacity across the entire state, enough new solar generation to power over 4,300 individual homes in New York.  And by producing clean electricity onsite – where the energy will be consumed – these solar systems serve to enhance grid resiliency in addition to the more obvious environmental benefits.

      This announcement represented the final round of NYSERDA’s Project Opportunity Notice (PON) 2589, and these awards will provide funding for 29 individual projects, including 10 projects in New York City.  In many cases, NY businesses are using these NY-Sun awards to “go solar” and enhancing their operating profitability and reducing their exposure to future electricity price increases as a result.

      As the chart below indicates, the NY-Sun Initiative has now provided awards to support over 200 MW of new solar capacity.  Importantly, the incentive amounts per watt have declined significantly, from over $1.13 per watt to $0.77 per watt in this most recently announced auction round.

      The EnterSolar team is very excited with the continued development of the NY solar market, and while NY is still a much smaller market relative to some of its neighbors (i.e. New Jersey and Massachusetts), the state has laid out an aggressive ten year plan under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, including the recent launch of the innovative NY Green Bank.  We have been active participants in every round of the NY-Sun Initiative to date, and look forward to continuing our involvement in this dynamic public/private program as NY evolves into a solar leader.

       

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