PSE&G has announced that they will begin accepting applications this fall for the Extended Solar Loan Program. This program will finance 97.5MW of solar over the next three years. The program is similar to the previous Solar Loan program with some important changes. Like the previous program, the Extended Solar Loan will offer a loan to system owners which is repaid with either cash or the proceeds of the sale of SRECs generated by the system and sold by PSE&G. Also like the previous program, there will be a floor price on the amount the loan recipient is credited for those SRECs even if the actual sales price falls below that floor price. As is currently occurring in the original Solar Loan Program, ratepayers make up the difference when the market price falls below the floor price.
The major change in this program is that the floor price will not be set by PSE&G, but will be determined by a competitive solicitation. PSE&G will hold 4-6 competitive solicitations each year, offering only a portion of the total capacity of each segment each round. In addition, the loans will all be 10 years, and there is no longer a “call option” for SRECs. Finally, this solicitation will require borrowers to pay administrative costs associated with the loans (fee structure for residential/commercial). There will be a set interest rate of 11.179% for all borrowers.
This program is only available to new, un-built systems. In general the program will contribute to increased oversupply in the NJ SREC market, since it increases the SREC supply and allows systems to be built at a higher price than the current SREC market price supports, with ratepayers making up the difference.