You are here

Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)

Fed. Government
Local Government
State Government
Tribal Government
Savings Category 
Maximum Rebate 

2013 compliance year: Alternative Compliance Payment Rate is $550 per MWh (~$0.55 per kWh)

Program Info
Start Date 


Program Type 
Performance-Based Incentive
Rebate Amount 

Varies, depending on market supply and demand

Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER)

NOTE: In February 2013, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) issued [ proposed changes] to its RPS Class I and RPS Solar Carve-Out programs. The DOER is soliciting comments from March 1 to March 25, 2013.

Massachusetts' renewables portfolio standard (RPS) requires each regulated electricity supplier/provider serving retail customers in the state* to include in the electricity it sells 15% qualifying renewables by December 31, 2020. The RPS was significantly expanded by legislation enacted in July 2008 (S.B. 2768), which established two separate renewable standards -- a standard for “Class I” renewables, and a standard for “Class II” renewables. The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) regulates the RPS and developed corresponding rules. In January 2011, final rules were implemented for the state's Solar Carve-Out program, which is the portion of the required renewable energy under the Class I Standard that must come from qualified, in-state, interconnected solar facilities.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) represent the renewable attributes of solar generation, bundled in minimum denominations of one megawatt-hour (MWh) of production. Massachusetts' Solar Carve-Out provides a means for SRECs to be created and verified, and allows electric suppliers to buy these certificates in order to meet their solar RPS requirements. All electric suppliers must use SRECs to demonstrate compliance with the RPS. The price of SRECs is determined primarily by market availability, although the DOER has created a certain amount of market stability by establishing a state Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction (where prices are fixed at $300/MWh minus a 5% administrative fee, for a total of $285/MWh), as well as the Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP) for the state RPS (set at $550/MWh for 2012). The Solar Credit Clearinghouse will only be utilized if or when SREC generators cannot sell their SRECs on the open market. To date, the Solar Credit Clearinghouse has not been utilized.

Only solar-electric facilities built after January 1, 2008, may be qualified to generate SRECs. SRECs are generated on or after January 1, 2010, since that is the date the Solar Carve-Out program took effect. Generators must apply and receive a statement of qualification (SQ) from the DOER and must establish an account with [ NEPOOL GIS] in order to participate in this program. Facilities that received funding prior to the effective date of the Solar Carve-Out from the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust or the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, or received more than 67% of project funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, are ineligible.

The SACP is set at $550 (2012). The SACP will decrease only if DOER determines this is necessary based on market conditions; it will not be reduced by more than 10% in any year. The SACP was amended and now includes a [ 10-year schedule] (final rules must be promulgated). The schedule is:

2012: $550

2013: $550

2014: $523

2015: $496

2016: $472

2017: $448

2018: $426

2019: $404

2020: $384

2021: $365

The Solar Carve-Out program is intended to support approximately 400 MW of solar facilities in Massachusetts. Once the state reaches that goal, and the opt-in term for all solar facilities has expired, SRECs will no longer be generated. Solar facilities will at that time generate renewable energy credits (RECs) and will be able to sell those for compliance under the Class I standard.

''* This does not include municipal light districts.''