Senate Bill A3520: The Solar Energy Advancement and Fair Competition Act was passed on January 17, 2010 and represents another big step forward for the New Jersey solar market. The state that is leading the way with its SREC program is upping the requirement in the Solar Renewable Portfolio Standard. Here are the key additions included in this legislation:
- The RPS for solar increases through 2026 and will remain at or above the 2026 level indefinitely after.
- Starting in June, 2010, the SREC requirement will be changed from a percentage to an absolute number of required SRECs each year.
- The annual SREC requirement will increase by approximately 20% on average over current requirements.
- The RPS shall increase by 20% in any given year if the SREC requirement is met in the each of the previous 3 years AND the average LSE purchase price decreases in 3 consecutive years.
- The BPU will be required to establish a new SACP level that shall not reduce previously published SACP levels.
- As previously reported, the requirement that a facility be below 2MW to be eligible for SRECs has been lifted.
- In the final version of the bill, the legislation disqualifying public utility solar projects from SRECs was removed in favor of the following: “For projects which are owned, or directly invested in, by a public utility, the board shall determine the number of SRECs with which such projects shall be credited; and in determining such number the board shall ensure that the market for SRECs does not detrimentally affect the development of non-utility solar projects and shall consider how its determination may impact the ratepayers.”
Here are the new requirements listed by year will be posted here:
This is a huge step forward for all participants in the SREC market as it not only indicates an increase in the potential of the solar market and the number of SRECs that will be traded in the year, but more importantly that the state is committed to developing a viable competitive market for SRECs. This legislation sets out to ensure that all segments of the market can have access to the value created by the market and limits the influence that any single public entity can have over the market.
The Bill can be read in its entirety here: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2008/Bills/A4000/3520_R3.HTM
For an explanation of the bill: DSIRE New Jersey RPS