New Jersey is one of the fastest growing markets for solar photovoltaic in the United States. Much of this success is due to New Jersey’s Solar Financing Model, which relies on a high Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the use of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs).
What is the SREC Registration Program?
The SREC Registration Program (SRP) is used to register the intent to install solar projects in New Jersey. Rebates are not available for solar projects, but owners of solar projects MUST register their projects in the SRP prior to the start of construction in order to establish the project’s eligibility to earn SRECs. Registration of the intent to participate in New Jersey’s solar marketplace provides market participants with information about the pipeline of anticipated new solar capacity and insight into future SREC pricing.
After the registration is accepted, construction is complete, and final paperwork has been submitted and is deemed complete, the project is issued a New Jersey certification number which enables it to generate New Jersey SRECs. SREC’s are generated once the solar project has been authorized to be energized by the Electric Distribution Company (EDC).
How did New Jersey Become a Leader?
New Jersey’s Clean Energy ProgramTM was established in 2001. That year there were only six solar installations in the state. Since that time, New Jersey has established a model program and an integrated approach to solar development that includes:
- A strong Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) with a dedicated carve-out for solar generated electricity that has helped create sustainable demand and investor confidence in the market. Learn more.
- Excellent interconnection and net metering standards that have made it easier for projects to connect to the distribution system and be compensated for their contribution.Learn more.
- A SREC financing model that provides energy certificates and additional long term financing for those who invest in solar.
How do SRECs work?
Each time a solar installation generates 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, an SREC is earned. Solar project owners report the energy production to the SREC Tracking System. This reporting allows SREC’s to be placed in the customer’s electronic account. SRECs can then be sold on the SREC Tracking System, providing revenue for the first 15 years of the project’s life.
Electricity suppliers, the primary purchasers of SRECs, are required to pay a Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP) if they do not meet the requirements of New Jersey’s Solar RPS. One way they can meet the RPS requirements is by purchasing SRECs. As SRECs are traded in a competitive market, the price may vary significantly. The actual price of an SREC during a trading period can and will fluctuate depending on supply and demand. See recent SREC trading prices.
What is the SREC tracking system?
All solar energy systems eligible to earn SRECs must report system production based upon readings from a revenue-grade meter that meets the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard C12.1-2008. This meter is in addition to the electric meter installed by the local utility to measure the home or business’ electric consumption. On May 1, 2012, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) re-adopted Chapter 8 rules with amendments that became effective on June 4, 2012. In re-adopting N.J.A.C. 14:8-2.9(c), the Board eliminated the use of production estimates for systems with a capacity of less than 10 kW. The revenue-grade meter must be installed by November 30, 2012. Following that date, SRECs will be issued to systems based only upon readings obtained from a revenue-grade meter measuring the system output. See NJ Administrative Code.
Once your solar project has been installed and your online SREC Tracking System account has been established, SRECs will be deposited in your account. The SREC Tracking System also records the sale of SRECs from generators to purchasers.
New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program uses the SREC Tracking System GATS (Generation Attribute Tracking System), developed and supported by PJM Environmental Information Services (PJM-EIS).
Call 866-NJSMART (866-657-6278, ext. 3) for more information on NJCEP or 877-750-GATS (4287) for information on the SREC Tracking System.