The state’s public utilities board on Friday announced plans to move ahead with a new stop-gap financing mechanism for community solar energy projects while it seeks a longer-term mechanism.
New Jersey’s Clean energy act requires that the state overhaul the financing method, known as Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC), once 5.1 percent of the energy sold in the state market is made up of solar.
Utility companies would purchase SRECs from solar producers to satisfy the state requirements for solar energy benchmarks, and the credits can be traded.
iday’s measure – approved by the Board of Public Utilities – creates the 15-year Transition Renewable Energy Certificate (TREC) program, which is available for any projects being worked on as of Oct. 29, 2018 that were not complete when the 5.1 percent milestone was met.
The TREC program will incentivize projects such as the installation of community solar, new grid systems for the electricity, solar panels at landfills and different environmental clean-up sites, and solar atop non-residential buildings.
Next year, the BPU will have to determine the monetary value of each TREC.
Under the SREC program, a single certificate was generated for every 1,000-kilowatt-hours of solar electricity.
The BPU said Friday it would look at either a 15-year flat price of $152 for each TREC, or a three-year price of $65 per TREC, followed by $189 for the remaining 12 years.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed the Clean Energy Act in May 2018, as part of his broader effort to boost a so-called “clean energy economy.”
Those efforts now call for the generation of 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and for the state to be 100 percent reliant on clean energy by 2050.