Ohio SREC Developments

Ohio SREC Market Update

The Ohio SREC market is a split market at this point. 50% of Ohio Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) buyers SREC purchases must be met by in-state facilities. The remaining 50% can be met by bordering state generators (PA, WV, KY, IN, MI) That are registered in the state of Ohio. There is a point when out of state sited SRECs can no longer be accepted by RPS buyers. What this means to non-Ohio sited SREC sellers is that the value of selling in Ohio will be decreased or nonexistent. This is only meant for the short run EY 2010. Future energy years can bring different results.


Register Your PA, MI, IN, KY, & WV SRECs in Ohio

Ohio Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) buyers can buy 50% of their SRECs from neighboring states. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia SREC sellers can certify their solar systems in Ohio and have the potential to sell their SRECs into a growing Ohio solar market.

However if too many solar generators register to sell their SRECs in a particular state or region an oversupply scenario could occur. Market saturation could diminish SREC demand and depress prices. It is also important to note, that a solar facility generating SRECs outside of Ohio and also registered within Ohio might not receive the same price of an Ohio sited SREC. For more information please click on the application for certification as an Ohio Renewable Energy Resource Generating Facility.

Click Here To Download Details from Ohio.gov

Public Utilities Commission of Ohio
Email: AEPS@puc.state.oh.us
Toll-Free: (800) 686-PUCO (7826)
Phone: (614) 466-3292 (in Columbus area)
Fax: (614) 752-8351
180 East Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215


US Solar Capacity Surges in 2009 on New Economic Incentives

LOS ANGELES, APRIL 15, 2010 — (Reuters) — Installed solar capacity jumped an astonishing 37% in 2009 following an onslaught of state and federal incentives offered during the recent economic crisis to help prop-up demand for new solar equipment. Grants, subsidies, tax-credits and cash incentives helped push revenue past $4 Billion in 2009, a 36% increase from the previous year.

According to a report released last Thursday by solar advocates it was the fourth straight year of unprecedented growth for the solar photo-voltaic industry here in the United States. This contrasts with the long-standing European solar power industry, which has seen a decrease as it’s mainstay nations ramp-down their incentive programs.

New U.S. solar capacity reached 481 Megawatts (MW) last year, an increase of 130 MW from 351 in 2008. Solar thermal for water heating also rose, but at a more modest 10% on the year. The only decline was seen in solar-pool heating, which saw a 10% decline blamed mostly on the slowdown in the housing sector.

Analysts say that the spike in U.S. growth is also attributed to lower prices of solar hardware, which the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reported fell an estimated 40% in recent years. “Despite the Great Recession of 2009, the U.S. solar industry had a winning year and posted strong growth numbers… Consumers took notice that now is the best time to go solar,” says SEIA CEO Rhone Resch. The increase in solar was led by California, with New Jersey coming in second place, followed by Florida, then Arizona.

According to the SEIA, six solar utility projects also came on line in 2009, including both solar PV and solar concentration plants. Despite the increase, solar still remains under 1% of utilities generation within the United States. The SEIA is optimistic for the future however and predicts 17 Gigawatts of solar power down the line, enough to power over 3 million homes.

“Now we’re talking gigawatts of solar, not megawatts,” said Resch.

View the SEIA’s 2009 Industry Year in Review Here:


View the original article from Reuters Here:


(Reporting by Dana Ford; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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Solar Financing

olar energy is attracting investment dollars. Competitive returns, lower barriers of entry, state and federal incentives, SREC revenue streams, and progressive Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (RPS) are advancing solar to the forefront of renewable energy world. As the solar market evolves, so are the financial structures that are assisting investors in financing and completing projects. This article will examine various financing strategies, the risks and rewards associated with them, and the incentives involved with solar investing.

  • Self Financed (Most Risk/Most Reward)– Self financed solar facilities are for residents and entities who want control of their solar destiny. These parties absorb the upfront costs for developing solar and the challenges of operating and maintaining their solar facility. This is the most capital intensive structure and poses the most risk and reward. The risk lies in the development of the project, the failure in properly monitoring and maintaining the facility, and the price associated with the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs). The rewards are a reduced rate of electricity for as long as the facility can generate solar energy, declining installation costs, and a revenue stream generated by SREC monetization. Self-financiers take the risk of developing solar because there is the potential for them to payoff the facility in a shortened period of time and realize increased upside profit potential.
  • Solar Lease Financing (Moderate Risk/Moderate Reward)– Solar lease financing structures are being executed in both the residential and commercial markets. The concept is simple, straightforward, and similar to an equipment or automobile lease. Instead of self financing your solar facility, parties can enter into a leasing contract and agree to make monthly lease payments on their solar installation. Similar to a PPA contract the client does not incur the expensive upfront installation costs or the responsibility of operating and maintaining the solar facility. In a best case scenario the lessee can take advantage of higher SREC values and an option to buy out the system in six years, while the lessor obtains the ITC and accelerated depreciation of the system. A solar lease structure is also an alternative to a PPA contract for non-profit organizations who want to take on SREC risk for potential reward, while the lessor passes on the ITC and accelerated depreciation indirectly through a lower lease payment. Solar leasing firms have a set of criteria that clients need to meet in order to participate in their solar leasing program: commercial clients may need to submit audited financial statements and residents may need to have a FICO score of 700 or greater to be considered. However there are also risks associated with solar leases. One risk is that a lessee could go upside down on their contract. This happens when the solar lease is more expensive than the SRECs being monetized. Another risk is the future price of electricity. Lessees could potentially pay more for solar electricity than basic generated electricity if demand diminishes. The financial crisis of 2008-2009 was a reminder that electricity prices do not always go up and that electricity demand could decline during lean economic times. Solar lease financing is becoming more popular because it is affordable, convenient, environmentally responsible, and lowers your electricity bills. However, interested parties should weigh the risks and rewards associated with solar leases and learn more about the leasing company before signing an extended contract.
  • PPA Financed (Less Risk/Less Reward)– A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is a contract between a solar electricity generator and a client seeking solar energy. This financial structure is designed to provide the client with a reduced rate of electricity for an extended period of time (10-20 years), no upfront installation cost, and the option to purchase the solar facility at the end of the contract. The PPA Provider designs, develops, operates, maintains, and owns the solar facility located on the client’s property. In turn the client pays the PPA Provider for the electricity generated from the solar facility. PPA Providers enter into these agreements because there is a profitable margin between where solar can be developed and what electricity can be sold for. The PPA Provider can also take advantage of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and accelerated depreciation. PPA Providers gain ownership of the SRECs which are generated from the solar facility and can monetize them on the Flett Exchange live markets. This solar structure is popular with non-profit organizations that cannot take advantage of the ITC and realize the accelerated depreciation of their solar facility.

Many solar projects are contingent on tax benefits, rebates, and long-term SREC contracts. Without these incentives and risk mitigation strategies solar projects can be difficult to finance and pose significant risk to investors. Let’s examine some of the incentives and strategies that are allowing the solar market to flourish.

  • Tax Benefits- At this juncture, tax incentives are an integral part of solar financing. The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) returns over 30% of a solar project’s capital cost to investors in the form of a tax credit. Sophisticated investors are utilizing solar as a tax-equity investment vehicle because tax credits can offset tax liability. Section 1603 of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Stimulus Bill) also allows investors to receive a grant in lieu of tax credit when the “specified energy property” is submitted to the “grant program.” This program runs out at the end of 2010, and the SEIA www.seia.org is lobbying to have it extended. Both the credit and grant programs promote renewable energy on the institutional level and help incentivize solar development.
  • Accelerated Depreciation- Developers of commercial projects can realize additional tax benefits from the depreciating cost of their solar facility. An entity “can depreciate the installed cost of the system minus 50% of the business Investment Tax Credit (ITC) over the first five years of ownership (SEIA 2008) using the modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS) (DSIRE 2008). According to a report by Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, the tax benefit of this depreciation is equivalent to 26% of the installed cost of the system, 12% of which comes from the ability to accelerate it over a five year period (Bolinger 2009).” –National Renewable Energy Laboratory, “Solar Leasing for Residential Photovoltaic Systems.”
  • Long-Term SREC Contracts- are helpful in financing proposed solar projects. Flett Exchange brokers long-term SREC contracts between qualified institutional counterparties. Our ability to facilitate and streamline long-term SREC contracts is value-added to both buyers and sellers. Buyers gain direct access to large pools of SRECs at a discounted price to satisfy their RPS, while sellers have the ability to mitigate risk and lock-in profits. Counterparty credit risk is paramount in this market. Buyers and sellers enter into bilateral contracts to secure price, quantity, and term of the SREC contract. Counterparties agree to pay or delivery SRECs at a specified future date. Flett Exchange augments this process by employing a stringent vetting process and presenting quality and creditworthy solar projects to the market. Flett Exchange is currently brokering 1-7 year SREC contracts in the open market and growing our ability to facilitate longer term deals for eligible commercial entities.

As the solar markets continue to evolve new and innovative thinking will be the most prized commodity. The emergence of banks, lenders, financial institutions, and new financial structures will be welcomed and as solar makes the transition form a subsidized market to a self-sustaining market.

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Why Investors are Attracted to Solar

Solar energy is gaining momentum in the renewable energy world. It is being heralded as a smart investment due to growth prospects, favorable market conditions, federal and state incentives, and more stringent Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). Individual and institutional investors are committing capital and taking risk because of potential profits and tax benefits that are associated with developing solar. Existing and newfound factors are driving solar energy to become a more mainstream investment. This article will examine these factors and demonstrate how they are contributing to solar energy’s success.

  • Growth- Over the past decade, technological advancements have made solar energy more affordable, more reliable and less obtrusive. Lower barriers of entry have allowed solar installers, integrators, and developers to offer competitive pricing on residential and commercial facilities and reduce their installed cost per watt.
  • Value- Solar energy is a potential hedge against higher electricity prices. It is estimated that electricity prices could conservatively increase by 3.0% a year. Solar energy is a wise alternative to higher electricity bills and can provide clean, green, and cheaper power. Self-Financing, Solar Lease Financing, and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) Financing are all financial structures that can accomplish reduced electricity costs.
  • Tradable SREC Markets- Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) are environmental attributes that can be transacted and monetized. SRECs are the driving financial component that makes solar economically feasible. SRECs are generated from the production of solar energy and can be monetized on Flett Exchange’s live SREC markets. SRECs are market based. Unlike feed-in tariffs SRECs pass savings on to ratepayers over time, if overdevelopment occurs or if solar becomes less expensive.
  • State Mandated Markets- SREC markets are state mandated. State governments are establishing stringent Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and increasing their solar carve-outs. Electric suppliers need to procure SRECs to meet their RPS. If electric suppliers cannot procure enough SRECs in the open marketplace to satisfy their RPS they are subject to a Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP) which is a penalty payment and can be considerably higher then the spot SREC market.
  • Tax Benefits- Many solar projects are candidates for federal tax incentives and state rebates. The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) returns over 30% of a solar project’s capital cost to investors in the form of a tax credit. Section 1603 of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Stimulus Bill) also allows investors to receive a grant in lieu of tax credit when the “specified energy property” is submitted to the “grant program.” State rebates may also be available for residential and commercial solar installations. Rebate programs can differ from state to state and exist on a sliding scale depending on the size of the proposed solar facility.
  • Escalating Fossil Fuel Demand- Global demand for fossil fuels is increasing while supplies are diminishing. Developed and emerging nations are competing for fossil fuels and all petroleum products come with political and environmental risk. Solar energy, on the other hand, is limitless, does not emit harmful emissions, and can be achieved without any political risks. Also if the US Dollar continues to depreciate the price of foreign fuel could continue to rise.
  • Climate Change- Private and public corporations, organizations, agencies, and municipalities are implementing clean energy programs. Climate change is a growing social and political issue, both domestically and internationally. Insightful entities understand the benefits of renewable energy and the risks associated with not staying ahead of the climate curve. These players are implementing clean energy programs and are well positioned if climate legislation gets passed. The recent US healthcare decision demonstrates that political winds can shift momentarily and legislation can be passed swiftly. Renewable energy strategies and sustainability teams are becoming more conventional, as private and public entities recognize their social responsibilities to the environment and potential legislative risk.

Solar energy is a favored renewable energy source. Solar is easy to install, is a hedge against higher electricity prices, generates a SREC revenue stream, and is beneficial to the environment. So far advantageous market conditions have attracted investors to solar.

However the future of the solar market also comes with challenges and risks. Increased competition could create an overpopulated market. Inexperienced players who are attracted by favorable market conditions could sacrifice engineering and construction quality for short term monetary gains. The reduction of federal and state incentives could make solar less appealing. As the solar market evolves it will be interesting to see if it could sustain itself and emerge as an established renewable energy source.

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Akron METRO Awards Five Year Contract for the Sale of Their SRECs

August 25th, 2009 The Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority (METRO RTA) has awarded a five year contract for the sale of their Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs). The agreement, adopted on August 25th, 2009 by the METRO RTA Board of Trustees, sets a fixed price of $390.00 per SREC for the next five years, through vintage year 2013. Qualified bidders were informed of the sale via legal notices advertised in the Akron Beacon Journal on July 10th and 17th, 2009. A total of five competing bids were evaluated by the METRO RTA Board of Trustees before the contract was finalized.  Below is a summary of the bids received before the July 31st deadline:

  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Winning Proposal $390.00 $390.00 $390.00 $390.00 $390.00
Proposal  2 $380.00 $340.00 $340.00 $311.00 $311.00
Proposal  3 $450.00 $311.00 $311.00 $311.00 $311.00
Proposal  4 Commission based sale,
no fixed price agreement.
Proposal  5 Commission based sale,
no fixed price agreement.

The Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority, is the public transit agency serving Summit County, Ohio and the city of Akron. It operates a number of local routes, and two rush-hour routes into downtown Cleveland. The five year contract is evidence of a growning trend in the Renewable Energy Credit market toward longer term agreements. On October 22nd, 2008, in a unanimous vote, the Ohio legislature passed, and Governor Ted Strickland signed into law, Senate Bill 221 requiring 12.5% of Ohio's energy be generated from renewable sources by 2025. Ohio has followed an ever increasing list of states passing green legislation that requires electric utilities and other pollution-generating entities to implement energy efficiency programs, including alternative energy production and emmissions reduction. Below are current Renewable Portfolio Standards adopted by various states:

State  Amount  Year 
Arizona 15% 2025
California 20% 2010
Colorado 20% 2020
Connecticut 23% 2020
District of Columbia 11% 2022
Delaware 20% 2019
Florida 20% 2020
Hawaii 10% 2010
Iowa 105 MW  
Illinois 25% 2025
Kansas 20% 2020
Massachusetts 20% 2025
Maryland 9.5% 2022
Maine 10% 2017
Minnesota 25% 2025
Missouri 11% 2020
Montana 15% 2015
New Hampshire 23.8% 2025
New Jersey 22.5% 2021
New Mexico 20% 2020
Nevada 20% 2015
New York 24% 2013
North Carolina 12.5% 2021
Ohio 12.5% 2025
Oregon 25% 2025
Pennsylvania 18% 2020
Rhode Island 15% 2020
Texas 5,880 MW 2015
Utah 20% 2025
Vermont 10% 2013
Virginia 12% 2022
Washington 15% 2020
West Virginia 25% 2025
Wisconsin 10% 2015

*Source: US Department Of Energy

Flett Exchange is a leading environmental exchange and brokerage firm. We bring transparency, price discovery and liquidity to Solar, Wind, Biofuels, LNG and Carbon markets. Our live auction-exchange is the most proficient and cost-effective way to transact and monetize Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and environmental products.

Flett Exchange has been servicing environmental markets for over three years
and has an established network of utilities, energy companies, financial institutions, installers, developers, municipalities and residents. Flett Exchange is active in PJM, MISO, NEPOOL and WREGIS renewable energy regions and brokers spot and long-term contracts in each region. Flett Exchange is also environmental consultant. We provide a turnkey solution to renewable energy structured transactions and advise our clients on how to maximize the value of environmental projects. Flett Exchange offers merchant banking solutions, credit origination, innovative strategies, project liquidity, risk assessment, consults on regulatory compliance, sources Request For Proposals (RFP’s) and Producer Purchase Agreements (PPA’s).

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Flett Exchange LLC launches Ohio SREC Market

Flett Exchange LLC launches Ohio market expanding its reach into the Midwest. Ohio’s Alternative Energy Resource Standard is similar to New Jerseys Clean Energy Program and includes a solar carve out requiring retail electricity providers to purchase 0.5% of their total supply by 2024 from solar resources. More Details about Ohio’s Market can be found on the “specifications” page and at the Ohio Public Utilities Commission Website.

Flett Exchange will leverage its experience in the New Jersey markets to help match LSEs and solar systems owners with its value added transparent web based trading/auction platform. The Exchange has brokered over $1.7 million in transactions year to date with over 650 customers. Flett Exchange’s NJ SREC market has operated continuously for two and a half years allowing buyers and sellers 24 hours access to live pricing information and the immediate ability to monetize their SRECs.

For a free account or immediate assistance call (201)-209-9426 or go to www.flettexchange.com and discover our SREC, NJ Class 1 Rec, RGGI, Interest-Rate, Physical Gold and Silver markets.