What to expect when the SMART portal opens Nov. 26

As outlined in a previous post, SMART will kick off with the opening of the application portal on November 26. This post provides an overview of the application process.

The general process

The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) provides a list of documents that are required for projects to apply (but note that the list is subject to change based on the final SMART Tariff that is approved by the Department of Public Utilities). In general, projects less than or equal to 25kW AC will need a signed installation contract, and projects larger than 25kW AC will need an Interconnection Services Agreement (ISA) in addition to permits and evidence of site control.

Applications are submitted through CLEAResult at http://masmartsolar.com/, and, after an administrative review, applicants will have 10 business days to cure mistakes.

If a project meets the standards for compensation under SMART, DOER will issue a Preliminary Statement of Qualification (SOQ) to the project that reserves the project’s spot in the current capacity block, assigns a base compensation rate, and starts the 12-month Initial Reservation Period. In an October presentation, DOER announced that it will aim to issue the first round of preliminary SOQs about a month after the portal opens.

Once a unit is operational, applicants submit incentive claims and DOER issues a final SOQ. Projects must either be operational by the reservation date deadline or file for a reservation period extension.

ISAs, utilities, and storage

Utilities continue to manage interconnection under SMART. Therefore, applicants must engage with the utility and follow its procedures in order to procure an ISA.

There’s one wrinkle to note for projects that include storage: an ISA must cover the battery in order to apply for the storage adder. This requirement means that projects may apply for the storage adder concurrently with the initial application if the ISA (or ISAs) covers interconnection of both the generation and battery components. Alternatively, projects can apply for the generation portion and then submit for the storage adder once an ISA covers the battery.

We will continue to update as the rollout gets underway.

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