With many key markets preparing to launch new solar programs, the past few weeks in the solar industry have been busy to say the least! Here’s a quick rundown from our Policy and Market Development Team to keep you in the know.
The Illinois Adjustable Block Program will launch in early 2019 and the Program Administrator is working overtime to get key final program details ironed out. In the past month, the PA released a revised straw proposal for the Block 1 lottery, the application for DG vendors, and draft guidelines for DG marketing. We expect proposed guidelines for community solar projects will be published soon.
The Maryland community solar pilot program will begin accepting applications for the 2019 project year shortly and our Development Team is hard at work finalizing details for the projects we hope will win capacity. Our 2018 project in Queen Anne’s County is filling up fast and we’re excited to be working with the Public Service Commission to ensure that residents are able to participate no matter their income level. More than half of our subscribers will be low-to-moderate income families and we’re busy making sure their customer experience is a pleasant one.
We are very excited that the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program will officially open at the end of this month. Governor Baker signed “An Act Relative to Solar Energy” into law on April 11, 2016, directing DOER to establish the framework for the SMART program. DOER crafted solid, thoughtful program regulations (225 CMR 20.00 – adopted 8/25/2017), and after months of industry testimony, stakeholder discourse and regulatory deliberation, the DPU issued their Order approving SMART on September 26. Final details are still being ironed out, but Nexamp expects to submit our first set of SMART project applications when the portal opens up on November 26.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is close to wrapping up the public comment period on the proposed rules for the state’s first ever community solar pilot program. We continue to stay engaged with our industry colleagues and trade association partners to adequately address concerns we have with the initial proposal. The industry hopes to leverage the considerable shared experience we have accumulated from work in other markets to ensure the New Jersey pilot program is a success.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Agency recently announced they are making $40 million available through the NY Sun program to support solar plus storage programs in the state. In the Governor’s Energy Storage Roadmap, the state set a goal of 1500 MW of energy storage by 2025. NYSERDA has yet to release additional details beyond the initial funding announcement, but we are excited the state acted quickly to move towards this aggressive target.
That’s all for now! We’ll be back again soon with more policy updates in the coming months!