NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU) recently provided clarification on two SREC program rulings.
New solar energy projects must apply for an SRP number within 10 business days after the execution of a construction contract or face 12 month SREC eligibility suspension.
A June 4, 2012 BPU ruling requires that the NJ Office of Clean Energy (OCE) receive a NJ solar facility’s SREC Registration Program (SRP) application within 10 business days after the execution of the contract for purchase or installation of photovoltaic panels. The requirement is outlined on the NJ OCE webiste here. All non-compliant solar facilities will face a 12-month suspension from the date of interconnection. During that period, any SRECs created in PJM-GATS for that facility will not be marked as eligible for compliance in the NJ SREC market. Following the 12-month penalty period, PJM-GATS will reinstate the state certification number for all of those SRECs so that they will be valid for compliance. All SRECs created after the initial 12 months will be generated normally, and be immediately eligible for compliance in the SREC program.
SRECs created from photovoltaic generation on or after July 23, 2012 are eligible for five years. SRECs created from photovoltaic generation prior to July 23, 2012 are elgible for three years.
The second clarification concerned a section of S1925, which became law on July 23rd, 2012, and among other things, increased the useful lifetime of SRECs in NJ from 3 years to 5 years. A detailed analysis of S1925 can be found here. The legislation was unclear whether the extended life would affect all SRECs (including prior compliance years’ SRECs), and if not, whether June 2012 and July 2012 SRECs would be treated separately than other NJ 2013 SRECs since the law was changed mid-month. The law states that, “SRECs shall be eligible for use in renewable energy portfolio standards compliance in the energy year in which they are generated, and for the following four energy years.” Since pre-July 2012 SRECs are never mentioned in the law, there appears to be no justification for treating them differently. Nonetheless, the BPU has so far failed to officially address this issue in writing. Originally, BPU staff verbally stated that only SRECs awarded for July 2012 generation and forward were to be awarded the extended lifetime. SRECTrade believes that the BPU’s verbal statements reflect the likely outcome of an official ruling later.