The Growing Solar Market in NJ

July 10, 2008

 

New Jersey has a backlog of more than 700 applications for solar power rebates, and property owners have to wait months, even years, to get solar panels installed, according to a report in The New York Times.

The report said the program, which is paid for by surcharges on all utility bills, has been shut down several times during the past three years because applications far outpaced rebate money. Some solar installation companies have had to lay off workers while they waited for rebate checks to be sent.

All this has convinced New Jersey regulators, the report said, that it is time to wean solar energy from public subsidies. The state plans to replace rebates with tradeable energy credits.

With oil prices skyrocketing, demand for solar power is booming, the report said, and the decision is significant because New Jersey has used the rebate program to help install more solar panels than any other state but California.

“We need to do things differently because ratepayers can’t keep paying for rebates indefinitely,” Jeanne Fox, president of New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities, told The Times.

Our Perspective:

NJ is taking great strides to introduce solar and other forms of alternative energy resources. Faced with an annual projected 1.5% increase in energy demand over the next 8 to 10 years, they fear they will be unable to meet the demand. As a result they have introduces a Energy Master Plan calling for a decrease in demand by 20% by the year 2020. They have also established as a goal to have 22.5% of their energy produced by alternative resources ( solar, wind, geothermal ) by the year 2020.

To provide incentives they have reworked the SREC ( solar renewable energy certificates ) program, increasing the value of the SREC from just over $200 TO $711 as of 6/1/08. The SREC is a commodity that will be traded, you will be assigned a SREC account as soon as a solar panel has been installed and you are producing electricity. One SREC will be paid for every 1000kw of electric produded.

The SREC program is designed to cover 60% – 70% of the installation cost of a solar system. My calculations show that it will cover the cost of the installation over a 15 year period. The payment of The SRECs along with the 30% Federal Energy Tax Credit makes this a home run for businesses.

Gov Rendell is busy persuing a similar plan to promote solar in PA. More on that as the news becomes available.

Bottom Line

With the inabilty to build new power plants to meet the growing demand for energy, the providers are using these funds to underwrite the opportunity of making you the provider and pulling usage off the grid.

Solar has come full circle and has become the talk of the town.

Solar…The New Sexy

Would you like to know more about solar opportunities in NJ and the surrounding Phila areas email george@hbsadvantage.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: