SUN PLANS IN THE 2ND BIGGEST SUN STATE
N.J. Solar Market Preview: With A New Energy Plan, What Lies Ahead In 2012?
Jessica Lillian, 13 December 2011 (Solar Industry)
"With the release of [New Jersey’s 2011 Energy Master Plan (EMP)], the PV industry is keeping a watchful eye on New Jersey - currently the second-largest solar market in the U.S.
"…New Jersey's solar sector continued to undergo significant upheaval as 2011 progressed, and [the EMP] could provide market relief…Projects have flooded the market, the prices for solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) have tumbled, and ratepayer impact is a growing concern. The presence of solar arrays on prized spots on undisturbed land has also drawn criticism in this densely populated, land-constrained state."
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"…[W]ithout some sort of intervention, New Jersey risks becoming a victim of its own solar development success…[T]he most important component of the EMP is its directive to temporarily accelerate RPS requirements in order to inject to more SREC demand and allow for the building of additional solar projects…The state will increase RPS requirements over the next three years and reduce the outlier years…[I] f the RPS were to remain on its old schedule, New Jersey could expect to experience "significant" job loss in the solar sector over the next two to three years.
"…[The EMP also reduces] the solar alternative compliance payment (SACP), which is available to utilities as a substitute for holding SRECs…SRECs in New Jersey have experienced dizzying price movement this year, including a second-quarter drop from approximately $600/MWh to $160/MWh…As a result, they have finally decoupled from the SACP…With the SACP reduction, the EMP aims to reduce cost burdens for ratepayers who do not participate in the solar market, while still supporting continued project development…"