Boston, MA – In 2017 we saw significant policy movement for solar on the local, state and federal levels. BlueWave Solar has worked with solar industry leadership to guide policy decisions and provide industry feedback on a regular basis. To keep you up-to-date on policy issues that affected the solar industry this year, BlueWave’s Managing Director for External Affairs – Mark Sylvia gives you the policy connection download.

SMART Update

This year we saw the development and promulgation of a much-anticipated new solar incentive program in Massachusetts.  As we’ve reported in previous newsletters, the new Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART), a tariff based, declining block incentive program, will replace the successful Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) II program.  The start date for SMART is anticipated to occur in late May or early June, 2018 based on the remaining steps in the implementation process.

These remaining steps include (1) a utility managed competitive procurement for solar projects that will set the base incentive rates for SMART and (2) a SMART tariff proceeding at the Department of Public Utilities (DPU), which among other things, will set program cost recovery mechanisms for utilities and will establish an alternative on-bill crediting mechanism separate from the current net metering structure. The results of the competitive procurement and corresponding base incentive rates are expected by mid-January 2018 and the DPU is expected to issue its order some time after final utility reply briefs are due on April 27, 2018.   Based on feedback from the industry and those familiar with the tariff hearing process, the DPU order is anticipated in May or June 2018.

BlueWave has been a very active participant throughout the development and implementation process both directly and through supporting the Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC), Solar Energy Business Association of New England (SEBANE) and the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) in efforts to ensure that SMART continues the growth and momentum of the solar industry in Massachusetts.

We appreciate the engagement of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs throughout this year long process. Check back for more updates on SMART and other solar related policy issues.

For more information on SMART click here.

 

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – Impact on Solar

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the $1.5 trillion Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) into law.   Prior to the bill signing, the solar industry was working hard to lobby US House and Senate tax bill conference committee members to ensure that the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) extension remained unchanged and that the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT) previously added in the Senate tax bill was either removed or significantly amended.  Due in part to those efforts, the final conference committee bill did not include changes to the ITC and amended BEAT. Had these provisions remained unchanged, it would have been a major blow to tax equity financing of solar and wind projects in the United States.

According to Greentech Media reporter Emma Foehringer Merchant in a story she wrote on December 20, 2017, “While the final tax bill left the Investment Tax Credit and the Production Tax Credit in place, the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT) provision made it through the final version. An amendment keeps 80 percent of the value of both the ITC and the PTC.”

Foehringer Merchant continued, “clean energy organizations and investors are now crunching the numbers to assess just how much the loss of 20 percent will impact tax equity investment. Tax lawyers seem optimistic that the market will bounce back.”

BlueWave did our part to let members of Congress in states where we offer our solar products know how BEAT, if left unchanged, would negatively impact tens of thousands of solar jobs and the millions of dollars in savings generated for customers across the United States.

For the full Greentech Media article click here.

 

Suniva Trade Case Update

On November 29, 2017, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer asked the International Trade Commission to prepare a supplemental report to assist him in advising President Trump on the Suniva Trade Case.  This request extends the deadline the President has for issuing a final decision from January 12, 2017 to January 26, 2017.

Concurrent with this request, the US Trade Representative’s Office held a public hearing on the ITC’s proposed remedies on December 6, 2017. Details about the hearing and US Trade Representative Lighthizer’s request for a supplemental report are included in articles by SEIA, Utility Dive and GreenTech Media – the links to these articles are below.

The President can, at any time, between now and January 26, 2017 render a final decision.   BlueWave will continue to monitor the situation and share any significant updates in the news section of our website at www.bluewavesolar.com/news

Links

https://www.seia.org/news/solar-industry-rallies-against-tariffs-america-first-plan-us-trade-representative-hearing

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/ustr-panel-shows-interest-in-solar-tariff-alternative#gs.Fd8sryg

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/us-trade-rep-pushes-for-another-itc-report-ahead-of-solar-trade-case-hearin/511994/

 

 

 

 

We sat down with Managing Director for Project Development, Jon Mancini, to get some insight into how the development team works and the future of BlueWave’s development program.

Tell us about Project Management, what role do you play at BlueWave? What’s the history of the PM team?

Project Management is where site acquisition, development, construction, interconnection and asset management all come together. We are a team of fourteen that finds, permits, develops, constructs, connects and manages the solar projects that we build. It is an exciting group that covers diverse ground. We also take great pride in working within communities that we enter. It is very important to us that we understand our role as a guest among the local citizens in every community we seek to build a project.

BlueWave Solar was founded on the backbone of development before we expanded into our other product offerings.

What environmental protections does the team consider when siting, planning and constructing projects?

When considering projects we seek to become one with the natural surroundings. If we are cutting tress for a project, we seek to plant new ones in the general area. We also seek to enhance the environment by installing meadows and pollinating plants to enhance and stimulate bees and butterflies. We also make sure we do not damage existing wetlands or vernal pools while we are on site. Designing these features is a fun part of the business.

What is the team’s favorite BlueWave project and why?

Not sure about the team, but my favorite project is the Dover Powissett St landfill solar project. This was my first project that I started and finished. We started permitting in June 2016 and the project became operational in August 2017. It was very fast and the community was a great partner in the project. There was also complexity due to the fact that the Hale Reservation owned the land and the Town of Dover operated the landfill. The system size is 1.4MW and lowers the rates for the local school district.

Meet the team!

Jon Mancini
Job Title: Managing Director
Favorite Hobby: Wine collector
Favorite Movie: The Departed
Best part of being a BlueWaver: Working with a great team.

Drew Pierson
Job Title: Director of Project Development
Favorite Hobby: Cycling, Music, Snowboarding
Favorite Movie: Home Alone
Best part of being a BlueWaver: The problem solving and creativity each project requires, the camaraderie, and our fiercely talented, dedicated team.

Shauna Thompson
Job Title:  Director of Interconnection
Favorite Hobby: Hiking, Reading, Traveling
Favorite Movie: Elizabeth (w/Cate Blanchett)
Best part of being a BlueWaver:  My awesome, dedicated, brilliant, extraordinarily passionate teammates.

Sandra Brown
Title: Senior Director of Technical Services
Favorite Hobby: Spoiling the one and only Winslow rotten.
Favorite Movie: Probably Bringing Up Baby, but I won’t tell you because it’s one of the security questions.
Best part of being a BlueWaver: Building things that matter, as in literally building, if only they’d let me drive a tractor.

Lucas Faria
Job Title:
Construction Manager
Favorite Hobby:
Playing guitar
Fav movie:
The Dark Knight
Best part of being a BlueWaver: 
Flying a drone, of course! Also, building large-scale solar projects.

Giovanna Olson
Job Title: Project Development Associate
Favorite Hobby: Theatre; in front of, on, and behind the stage
Favorite Movie: The original Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
Best part of being a BlueWaver: Working towards a brighter future alongside brilliant, dedicated and fun people.

Lexi Barlow
Job Title: Project Manager
Favorite Hobby: Reading
Favorite Movie: Little Miss Sunshine
Best part of being a BlueWaver: Solving problems as a team.

Tom Holt
Job Title: Construction Manager
Favorite Hobby: Constantly changing – right now it’s skiing.
Favorite Movie: Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
Best part of being a BlueWaver: The amazing team we’ve assembled.

Andrew Buckley
Job Title: Site Acquisition Manager
Favorite Hobby: Budget traveling, indoor rock climbing, eating ice cream
Current Favorite Movie: I Love You Man
Sports team: Patriots
Best part of being a BlueWaver: Working in a place with a lot of internal opportunity for growth and strong mentor figures.

Matt Parlon
Job Title: Project Development Analyst
Favorite Hobby: Sailing
Favorite movie: The Other Guys
Best part of being a BlueWaver: Getting to draw from, and contribute to, the expanding knowledge base of the company.

Mitali Mirle
Job Title: Site Acquisition Analyst
Favorite Hobby: Swimming and diving
Favorite movie: Currently, Moana
Best part of being a BlueWaver: The passionate team we all are a part of.