100% Renewable Energy Summit

Join Achieve Renewable Energy, LLC at North Shore for 100% Renewable Energy Summit

Our own Lawrence Lessard will be on the discussion panel at the upcoming North Shore for 100% Renewable Energy Summit on Tuesday November 14, 2017 at Salem State University in Salem, MA. Please attend and support the discussion of Massachusetts energy and climate options. Other hosts include Congressman Seth Moulton, State Senator Bruce Tarr, and State Senator Joan Lovely.

Please RSVP to this event by contacting Meghan Hassett at mhassett@environmentmassachusetts.org

The Sun is Rising on a New Era for the DOER SREC Program

Important changes are coming for the Massachusetts DOER Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC) program.  As expected, the DOER is in the process of shifting from the existing SREC-I regulations to a new phase suitably called SREC-II.  A final policy design of the new SREC-II program was released on December 13, 2013.  The DOER Commissioner has released some highlights.  These changes are described in greater detail on the SRECTrade website.

What Changes are Expected?

Most importantly, the Patrick-Murray Administration has revised its cumulative installed solar power capacity goal from 400 MW to 1,600 MW by 2020.  Currently, just under 400 MW of solar power have been installed since the inception of the program.

SREC rates will vary depending upon project size and other considerations – this will allow smaller projects to receive more SRECs on a per MWhr basis than larger projects.  The SREC factor will range from 1 SREC per MWhr produced for residential and community scaled projects to 0.8 SREC per MWhr for larger landfill or brownfield sites.  The SREC factor for certain atypical projects that do not meet specific Market Sector criteria could drop as low as 0.7.

Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction (SCCA) prices and Alternative Compliance Payment (ACP) rates will continue to decline over the next 10 years with the SCCA price dropping from $300 to $199/MWhr and the ACP rate declining from $375 to $257/MWhr.  The SCCA is the Massachusetts market’s floor value established on a yearly basis for the semi-annual SREC clearinghouse auctions.  The ACP is the SREC compliance rate established on a yearly basis for electricity producers who do not purchase required SRECs from providers in order to maintain their energy portfolio requirements.

Other changes that are anticipated include a provision for no forward SREC minting for residential properties.  Previously, the DOER allowed residential projects to create or bank up to 10 years worth of SRECs from the onset of the project.  Also, no competitive SREC factor adjustments will be allowed for larger scale projects.  All assigned SREC factors will remain fixed.  Finally, the Grant Program for Directly Owned Residential Facilities will remain in place.  The original August 2013 SREC-II draft did not allow for a continuation of this grant program.  However, the program has survived the cut and will continue to allow for residential owners with 3rd party leasing or PPAs to move towards system ownership.

So What Does this All Mean?

Although changes to the SREC program have been anticipated for some time, these changes will ensure that the Massachusetts SREC program will remain among the nation’s best and at the forefront of the global push for greener, healthier energy.  Expanding the goal solar power installed in Massachusetts from 400 MW to 1,600 MW by 2020 will only stabilize SREC values and rates moving forward. Now that that Final Design document has been released, a public hearing and comment period will follow.  The DOER anticipates that SREC-II will become effective by the end of the first quarter of the year.

Geothermal Heating and Cooling Just Keeps Getting Better!

Geothermal Heating and Cooling equals efficiency! This is particularly true with the latest and most advanced 7 Series line introduced by WaterFurnace and provided by Achieve Renewable Energy. This state of the art system is considered the ‘best of the best’ and represents the industry’s FIRST fully launched variable capacity residential unit and the ONLY unit to surpass both the 41.0 EER and 5.3 COP efficiency barriers developed by the U.S. Department of Energy.

700A11-190

WaterFurnace 7 Series

How does it work? Unlike traditional geothermal units, which typically use one or two fixed compressor speeds, the 7 Series scales the speed up and down based on actual need. This allows the system to run more frequently at lower capacity thus resulting in an increase in efficiency that translates into over 30% savings over a typical Geo system and up to 70% savings on a more traditional fossil fuel system. The 7 Series works like a race car with a 10 speed transmission while traditional units are limited to 1 or 2.

The current market place for these variable speed or inverter-based units is just starting to develop. The only inverter-based GSHP in production that is readily available is the WaterFurnace 7 Series. Competing units from other manufacturers are anticipated in the coming year or two but are not currently available. Achieve has installed or is currently installing more WaterFurnace 7 Series units than any other WaterFurnace dealer in our area and we believe we have the most inverter-driven GSHP experience of any geothermal installer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Want to learn more? Check out this recent article on ProudGreenHome that touts this next generation in geothermal technology, particularly the WaterFurnace 7 Series: http://www.proudgreenhome.com/article/220845/Geothermal-heat-pumps-taking-the-next-step-in-efficiency.

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is also convinced. Their new $3,000,000 Financing Program for Renewable Thermal Investment specifically targets the development of renewable thermal technologies including ‘inverter driven air and ground source heat pumps.’ To learn more about this program or to further educate yourself about all of the amazing benefits of renewable energy, visit the DOER website at http://www.mass.gov/eea/.

geopro-dealer

Achieve is a registered WaterFurnce Geopro Master Dealer

 

Boston Natural Gas Prices Spike in December

December Natural Gas Prices in Boston

Boston saw natural gas prices spike in December. In a recent notice, the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that bidweek natural gas prices for December 2013 were nearly triple the November prices. The December settled at $14.52 per million Btu which compares to under $4 in October and $10 last December. The December 2013 prices are the highest ever recorded at the Algonquin hub that serves Boston. Nationally, prices have not risen to this degree. Factors contributing to the price spike include: pipeline/delivery constraints, cold weather in November, forecast below normal temperatures in December and maintenance downtime for secondary delivery systems. The full EIA report is available here.  Residential and commercial natural gas prices will inevitably rise in response to the increased cost for the Utilities to buy gas on the open market. Since about 40% of building energy expense is space heating, natural gas customers should plan for increased natural gas prices this winter. It looks like New England will not be able to sustain the low natural gas prices seen in recent years because of the limited pipeline capacity. The reasons for this are in the second EIA chart and our interpretation, below.

Natural Gas Prices Spike in December - EIA Data

 

Delivery Infrastructure Problem

New England has infrastructure problems that limit delivery. There is simply not enough pipeline available to meet the expansion in natural gas demand that has occurred in recent years. Most of the natural gas entering New England is delivered via the Algonquin Gas Transmission pipeline system. This system has historically operated well below capacity except during peak demand. Because of increased natural gas use, the pipeline system has operated near capacity year round since 2011 and can no longer keep up with peak demand. Now,  demand peaks on top of the new normal monthly requirements can’t be met — especially if secondary delivery options are constrained. Constrained capacity results in increased natural gas prices. You can read more about the pipeline here. Here is a graph that shows how much demand for the pipeline has increased in recent years:

Natual Gas Prices are related to Algonquin Pipeline Load

 

Geothermal Heating and Cooling Just Keeps Getting Better

Geothermal Heating and Cooling equals efficiency!  This is particularly true with the latest and most advanced 7 Series line introduced by WaterFurnace and provided by Achieve Renewable Energy.  This state of the art system is considered the ‘best of the best’ and represents the industry’s FIRST fully launched variable capacity residential unit and the ONLY unit to surpass both the 41.0 EER and 5.3 COP efficiency barriers developed by the U.S. Department of Energy.

700A11-190

WaterFurnace 7 Series

How does it work?  Unlike traditional geothermal units, which typically use one or two fixed compressor speeds, the 7 Series scales the speed up and down based on actual need.  This allows the system to run more frequently at lower capacity thus resulting in an increase in efficiency that translates into over 30% savings over a typical Geo system and up to 70% savings on a more traditional fossil fuel system. The 7 Series works like a race car with a 10 speed transmission while traditional units are limited to 1 or 2.

The current market place for these variable speed or inverter-based units is just starting to develop. The only inverter-based GSHP in production that is readily available is the WaterFurnace 7 Series. Competing units from other manufacturers are anticipated in the coming year or two but are not currently available. Achieve has installed or is currently installing more WaterFurnace 7 Series units than any other WaterFurnace dealer in our area and we believe we have the most inverter-driven GSHP experience of any geothermal installer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Want to learn more?  Check out this recent article on ProudGreenHome that touts this next generation in geothermal technology, particularly the WaterFurnace 7 Series:  http://www.proudgreenhome.com/article/220845/Geothermal-heat-pumps-taking-the-next-step-in-efficiency.

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is also convinced.  Their new $3,000,000 Financing Program for Renewable Thermal Investment specifically targets the development of renewable thermal technologies including ‘inverter driven air and ground source heat pumps.’   To learn more about this program or to further educate yourself about all of the amazing benefits of renewable energy, visit the DOER website at http://www.mass.gov/eea/.

geopro-dealer

Achieve is a registered WaterFurnce Geopro Master Dealer

 

September NEGPA Meeting at Achieve on 9/10/13

On September 10th, Achieve Renewable Energy, LLC.  is hosting the New England Geothermal Professionals Association (NEGPA) Board Meeting. The meeting will be from 6 to 8 PM. A light meal and beverages will be provided. If non-members are interested in attending, please contact us at 877-646-9922 and we will make arrangements.

You can find out more about NEGPA at www.negpa.org.

 

Rooftop Solar Array Enhances Curriculum at Tower School

Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 9.10.05 PMTower School announces the completion of their rooftop solar array and the installation of electronic monitoring stations, which became fully operational during the 2012-2013 school year.

Board member, and driving force behind the solar program at Tower, Susan Livingston, expressed her commitment to the program, “As we try to move beyond burning fossil fuels as a nation, demonstrating the active use of renewable energy in schools sets a wonderful example for the community and our students. The new Solar Array can be a practical teaching tool for our children to learn more about our energy future.”

Head of School, Peter Philip agrees: “We are pleased to set an example for our students and for the community through the installation of this Solar Array. As well, we are eager to witness how our teachers and their students weave this commitment to renewable energy into the curriculum.”

The 105 solar module system was installed by Beverly MA-based, Achieve Renewable Energy, and is designed to supply more than 28,000 kilowatt-hours per year. Larry Lessard, director and founder of Achieve Renewable Energy, LLC says, “We’re proud to partner with Tower School in deploying a solar-electric system that will generate renewable, carbon-free power for decades. Our final phase is the installation of electronic monitoring stations within the science lobby, so the re- newable energy system can be integrated into the science program. To me that is the most gratifying part of the project.”

To learn more about Tower’s rooftop solar array, and to arrange for a personal tour, contact Tower School’s Business Manager, Dean Sidell, at 781-631-5800. For information about Tower’s culture of environmental stewardship, or to read about student-driven sustainability initiatives, visit towerschool.org.