NJ solar credits plunge after supply exceeds market demand
State energy reports indicate credit values in the solar energy market have nosedived after the supply surpassed demand, as the projects awarded to the energy businesses over flooded in the recent past and to stabilize the market, State officials have decided to step in.
Last week hundreds of businesspersons attended a Board of Public Utilities (BPU) hearing in Trenton to know the future of the current volatile solar credit market.
Flett Exchange, which tracks the market, said that last year solar capacity in NJ raised by double owing to which the State reached second to California in demand. To meet the supply, enough solar credits were issued. Finally, the prices plunged from $600 to $200 per credit in the past two months.
Emphasizing on the stability in its regulations, James Torpey of SunPower said "Are these ($600 SRECs) sustainable prices? No. There was overbuilding. Folks, this is a market, and that’s what happens. Let’s remember that fundamentally, we have a market that’s working."
Solar credits are determined in terms of SRECs, where one SREC is equivalent to 1,000 kWh or 66.66 percent of electricity needs per month, in an average NJ home.
Solar energy industry fears the worst
Industry analyst confirm this is a good year for solar energy as the reason behind the fall in the solar credits and also fear the worst could be in store. Lyle Rawlings of the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industry Association said that if the market failed all the investors would loose a lot.
A Public Service Electric & Gas solar expert also pressed for extended loan sanction program for solar industry by public-service corporations. Susanna Chiu, who manages $750 million in renewable projects for PSE&G expressed his concerns over holding back the manufacturing industries from leaving the State.
However, several pole-mounted panels and solar farms have helped in employment generation in the State. 'Solar 4 All' program has created 300 jobs in solar installation while 170 in manufacturing, Chiu said.